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Assault charges lodged after family disturbance


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from an individual on July 22, 2023 at 2:16 AM, claiming that his uncle was physically assaulting his aunt at home.

Officers arrived and met with the man who was waiting in front of the public road to wave officers down, and explained the situation. While the caller was directing the officers, the defendant was observed walking to the front of the road shirtless and with scratches on his chest.

The caller then identified the defendant, and officers also detected a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the defendant’s breath when he was placed in handcuffs.

Officers continued on to locate the victim at the house, and they observed her face was swollen to the point she was unrecognizable from her ID card. Officers asked the victim to have paramedics check her out, but she refused several times.

According to the caller’s statement, he had just gotten off of work when he heard screaming coming from inside the house. He ran inside and saw his uncle punching his aunt numerous times and that’s when he intervened and held his uncle back.

According to the victim’s statement, her boyfriend (the uncle) went out to drink and when he arrived back home, he started an argument with her about their relationship.

They continued arguing to the point her boyfriend grabbed her by her arms and punched her in the face multiple times. The victim then added that she fought back and scratched him in the torso, and that’s when her nephew intervened and saved her by holding him back.

In the early morning of July 22, the defendant was Mirandized, waived his rights and made a statement.

According to the defendant, his girlfriend left to go drink at a bar and around 11 PM he went to check up on her and saw her dancing with another guy. He stated that he approached her about it, but she turned around and left to go back home. And, when he went home, his girlfriend started arguing with him at which point, he told her to stop.

He said that the girlfriend was “provoking” him to do something about it, and that’s when he grabbed her by her arm and restrained her for an hour inside the house.

The defendant was arraigned on Monday, July 24, 2023 at District court. He is charged with private peace disturbance and assault in the third degree.

Bail is set at $600.