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Alleged assault case heads to court after a joke turns violent

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 40-year-old man accused of assaulting another man in Tafuna by striking the victim’s head with a metal pipe made his initial appearance in Court last month.

Filipo Amosa is charged with one count of second-degree assault, a class D felony, carrying a prison sentence of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Bond is set at $10,000.

A reduction of bond to 1/2 the amount was requested by the defense, however the court denied the motion.

Amosa waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his case was bound over to High Court.

His first pretrial conference is May of this year.


Around 12:12a.m on Feb. 12, a man called TPS to report that they were transporting a male, who was assaulted in Ottoville, to the LBJ. According  to the government, the victim is a 35-year-old married man and father of 4 from Petesa.

The government claims that the main witness — a male — and several family members were engaged in a drinking session at a home in Ottoville the day before. Later in the evening, another family member stopped by, together with Amosa.

Everything was okay until a little past midnight, when the homeowner got into a verbal argument with the victim, after the victim allegedly accused the homeowner of hiding beer in his vehicle.

As a joke, the homeowner told the victim that it was Amosa who stole the beer and hid it in the backpack he was carrying that night. The joke backfired when Amosa, after leaving the house, re-entered it, holding a metal pipe, which he used to strike the victim on the back, before hitting him on the head.

The victim was immediately transported to the hospital. Amosa was apprehended at his uncle’s home in Nuuuli and transported to the police station for questioning.

Amosa confirmed to investigators what had happened including the fact that he felt embarrassed and angry at the same time, and he wanted to do something to the victim because of this.

According to Amosa, he saw a metal pipe in the back of a truck parked in front the house and grabbed it, and returned to the house where he struck the victim on his back before he hit him on the head, causing the victim to fall off the chair.

At that time, Amosa said, the victim was groaning, blood was dripping from his head because of a laceration on the top part of his skull. While Amsoa was making his way out, a male relative of the victim punched Amosa in the face.

The victim was discharged from the LBJ hospital after he spent 5 days there.

The defendant told police he knows the victim, because he is the one person that has always helped him since he arrived in the territory