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Assault charges lodged against man who allegedly 'endangered a child'

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Petesa accused of attempting to assault his uncle’s wife while she was holding her one-year-old was arrested last month


Alema Vaili made his initial appearance in court last month where the court granted a motion from the defense attorney to release Vaili on his own recognizance to await his next court appearance. Vaili is not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim and her family.

He is charged with third degree assault, public peace disturbance (PPD), and endangering the welfare of a child, all class A misdemeanors, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

According to the government’s case, on Mar. 9th, police received a call regarding a PPD incident in Petesa.

Upon arrival at the scene, two responding officers found a male — later identified as the defendant — sitting in front of his house. As investigators were speaking to Vaili, a woman walked out and told police she was the one who reported the incident.

According to the woman (the wife of Vaili’s uncle) the confrontation started when she approached Vaili about breaking inside their home and stealing items from her home, including money and clothes. She said she spoke to Vaili about how disrespectful his actions were, and that's when Vaili allegedly yelled profanities at her before he pushed her against the house wall causing the victim to hit the back of her head on the side of the wall while she was holding her one-year-old son.

According to the victim, her nephew was heavily intoxicated and was cussing at her. She claims that Vaili walked over and tried to punch her, but she ran into her house and locked the door.

She told police she was afraid and concerned for her safety and that of her young children because she knows her nephew is on drugs and if they don’t take him, he would come later and beat her — or someone at their home — because he knows she called the police on him.

The victim’s husband was at work when the alleged incident took place.

According to the government, Vaili was intoxicated when police approached him; and for the safety of the woman and the baby, he was arrested and detained to await his appearance in District Court.

When interviewed by police, Vaili explained that he assaulted his uncle’s wife because she was spreading lies in the village and church that his older brother is selling drugs in the village.

Vaili told police that he loves his uncle and his family; however, he was upset because people were mocking him and accusing his older brother of selling drugs. Vaili admitted that he assaulted his uncle’s wife by pushing her towards the wall while she was holding her son, and cussing at her, out of anger.