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‘Alcohol involved’ once again the case in PPD and assault

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The government has charged Fetuao Lavasi’i with public peace disturbance and third degree assault, and District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea says the defendant needs to address his alcohol problem.

During arguments regarding the defendant’s bail at his initial appearance in District Court this past Tuesday, it was mentioned that Lavasi'i has appeared in court since 2007 on cases related to alcohol use.

Lavasi’i was taken into custody Monday night after family members contacted police for assistance, as the defendant was intoxicated, causing trouble, swearing at neighbors, and allegedly punching the face of a young man who tried to calm him down.

A witness told police that he got into an argument with Lavasi'i, “who was drunk” and started swearing. Lavasi'i allegedly called him 'stupid' and later assaulted him by choking him with his hands and then punching him twice in the face.

Police say they detected a “strong odor" of alcohol emitting from Lavasi'i’s breath and clothes. Cops had to help him into the station, because he could barely walk, let alone stand up.

During the booking process, Lavasi'i's speech was 'slurred' and he sometimes struggled to answer.

Lavasi'i has been released on his own recognizance subject to certain conditions that require him, among other things, to remain alcohol and drug free.

He is also not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses -  including the victim.