Unruly couple arrested after neighbors call the cops and watch the show
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A domestic violence Incident between a Tafuna couple ended up sadly after they were both arrested and spent two nights at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) before they were appeared in District Court last week for their initial appearances.
When arrested by police, drugs were discovered in the husband’s pocket.
The couple, Adam Jr. Latu and his wife, Nancy are both being represented by the Public Defender’s office.
Adam Jr, 52, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both; along with one count of 2nd degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both, and one count of private peace disturbance and public peace disturbance.
Bail is set at $10,000.
Nancy is charged with one count of 2nd degree assault, a felony, along with one count of private peace disturbance and one count of public peace disturbance, both class B misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $5,000.
Preliminary examination is now scheduled for next week.
On Nov. 4th, 2021 at about 8p.m, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a phone call from an off-duty police officer asking for assistance regarding a domestic violence incident in the Tafuna area involving a couple who were believed to be drunk and making a lot of noise around the area.
Several officers responded to the call and spoke with the off-duty officer, who was at the scene when the police arrived, and showed them the couple’s house.
Officers also interviewed bystanders who were near the couple’s house, and allegedly witnessed the incident.
One witness told police that she at home when she heard a woman shouting profanities while walking on the road with a machete in her right hand. Shortly, she saw a man also holding a machete in his hand chasing the woman.
Two other witnesses shared different views of what happened.
One male individual told police he saw the man beating his wife outside of their house by punching her in the face and pulling her hair. The other witness echoed the first witness’s statement about the couple each being armed with knifes, while the man chased after his wife.
Upon entering the house that was identified as the couple’s house, officers found the couple there and they were identified as Adam Jr Latu, and his wife, Nancy. Two machetes were also seen inside the house — one in the living room and one in the kitchen where the woman was sitting.
Officers also smelled a strong odor of alcohol inside the house and also from both the breaths of the couple.
The couple was then asked by officers to come with them to the TPS for further investigation. Before they were transported to the TPS for questioning, both were patted down for weapons.
During a body search on the husband, officers discovered a small black pouch in his rear pants pocket. Inside the pouch were two small stamp sized baggies containing white crystalline substance which later tested positive for meth; and another two small stamp sized baggies containing green leafy substance that later tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
A body search was conducted on Nancy as well, and nothing illegal was found in her possession.
The couple was then transported to the TPS for questioning. All the evidence gathered at the scene was also brought to the station for further screening.
In a statement by Adam Jr, he explained that he came home and found his wife sitting outside of the house with a female friend drinking alcohol. He scolded his wife and instructed her to go to Kokoland to pick up his grandson. His wife refused and told him she can’t drive because she’s been drinking and she doesn’t want to be pulled over by cops and arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
According to Adam Jr, that was when he called his friend to come and pick him up and they drove to his friend’s house in Vaitogi where they drank alcohol. Two hours later around 8p.m, he returned home and found his wife sitting in the living room very drunk.
His wife approached him and told him she wanted to go to her friend’s house in Petesa and come back later. Adam told his wife that she can go hang out with her friend on one condition, she’s not taking the truck. Instead, she has to call a taxi to drop her off at her friend’s house.
The wife became angry and started yelling profanities at her husband and told him to give her the car key. He refused which led to her walking to the living room and tossing the TV on the floor, while continuing to swear at her husband, who was still sitting on the couch in the living room watching his wife’s actions.
Nancy then walked to the kitchen and grabbed a steak knife and threw it at her husband, which missed him and hit the front door of the house. She attempted to throw it again at her husband when she walked back into the living room. However, that’s when Adam Jr rushed into the kitchen and grabbed a machete and confronted her.
Nancy did not waste any time, but exited the house and ran outside and on to the road— apparently running for her life while still holding the steak knife. Her husband chased after her with a machete in his hand.
The husband stopped and returned home after he realized that the neighbors were standing outside of their houses, observing the chase.
When questioned about the drugs discovered in his possession, Adam Jr admits that the drugs belong to him. He said he got it from the friend in Vaitogi where he spent the evening.
He told investigators that he had no idea that anyone would call police over what happened. He stated that after the disagreement with his wife, they sat down and discussed what happened and they apologized to each other.
When questioned by police, Nancy admitted that it was she who started the fight. She said she was pissed-off when her husband refused to give her the key to the vehicle so that she could go visit her friend in Petesa.
She admitted that she grabbed a kitchen knife and threw it at her husband. She also admitted that she yelled out profanities, which disturbed the public peace.
Adam Jr was sentenced to 5 years probation in 2013 after being convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana. As a condition of his probation, he was ordered to serve a period of detention of 20 months and pay a $2,000 fine.
Two months after his probation expired in 2018, Adam was arrested and charged with assaulting his wife, the same victim he’s being accused of assaulting in this new case. Adam was sentenced to 2 years probation for that charge and the probation expired in March of this year.
The facts to that conviction proved the defendant assaulted his wife while he was drunk by punching her in the face and kicking her back while she was lying on the ground.