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Allegedly fearing for her life, woman contacts TPS

American Samoa District Court

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On March 31, 2024, at about 12:35 pm, a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) requesting assistance regarding her cousin, Va’afatu Tunoa who was allegedly threatening to hurt her if she did not leave their residence in Pavaiai.

Tunoa was charged with the following:

Count 1: Private Peace Disturbance (DV) — a class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) days, a fine of $300 but not less than $150, or both; and,

Count 2: Assault in the Third Degree (As a C Misd.) (DV) — a class C misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) days, a fine of $300 but not less than $150, or both.

Bail for the defendant was set at $300.

According to the affidavit, police officers responded to the call and as they approached the house in Pavaiai, they observed a male individual walking away from the house and towards the main road who matched the description of the suspect. Police officers approached him, and he identified himself as Tunoa. The suspect was detained and placed in the police unit.

The officers spoke to the victim (also the caller) at her house who explained details regarding the alleged incident.

The victim claimed that the suspect “came from church around noon and called her out of her room.” The victim said that as she came out of her room, the suspect yelled profanities at her and told her to make food for him. She further stated “as Tunoa was yelling at her, he was being very aggressive and walking towards her as if he was going to hit her.”

Fearing for her life, the victim went back into her room and locked the door.

The affidavit states that the suspect threatened to hurt the victim if she did not come out of the room. The victim claimed that “this incident wasn’t the first” — but had not reported the other incidents because she was afraid of the suspect’s violent behavior towards her.

Police officers who transported the suspect noted that on the way to the TPS, the suspect was mumbling “once he gets back home, he’s going to chase her out of the house.”

The suspect was Mirandized and refused to make a statement.

He was booked and confined to await the next available sitting of the District Court.

Tunoa was identified as a 52-year-old U.S. Citizen.