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Village brouhaha lands man with pending matter in Family Court in jail

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 40-year-old man who has a pending matter in the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court was arrested last month and charged with criminal contempt, along with violating local drug laws.

According to the government's case, police got a call for assistance in Iliili, reporting that Arona Pale was drunk and disorderly.

A police dispatcher claimed to have heard "people yelling and shouting profane words and children crying" in the background.

Cops who responded to the call say they heard people screaming from several houses down when they approached the area. A search for the suspect was carried out at his home, which is near the ocean.

According to court documents, Pale was spotted by an officer standing on the road, "as if he was getting ready to run away.” Police called out to him to stay where he was, but allegedly Pale called back, "No, I don’t want to go to jail,” and then fled to the back of some houses in the neighborhood.

Two men from the area assisted officers in searching for the defendant and found him hiding at the back of an abandoned house a few blocks away. He was immediately placed inside the police unit with his hands cuffed, while cops tried to collect more information regarding the incident.

Several witnesses told officers that Pale was intoxicated and yelling profanities at his family and neighbors. Another witness stated that Pale came home and started screaming at everyone in the house. The witness said such behavior was normal for Pale.

When a family member told Pale to tone it down, Pale turned around and started a verbal argument with the family member. Pale was cussing at her and threatening to kill her if she ever bothered him again.

Before Pale was transported to TPS, a body search was conducted by officers, and drugs were discovered in his right pocket — a small baggie containing methamphetamine, and another small baggie containing marijuana.

When asked about the drugs, Pale told officers that they belonged to him. He did not offer any further information regarding the illegal drugs.

Pale made his initial appearance in court last month.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both, along with one count of contempt of court, a class A misdemeanor.

Bail is set at $5,000.