Cops allegedly find meth in back pocket of man charged with assaulting his wife
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man arrested for assaulting his wife is now charged with unlawful possession of illegal drugs after police found in his possession.
Setu Tesimale appeared in court last week for his initial appearance where he informed the court that he wanted to exercise his constitutional rights to a preliminary examination (PX).
Tesimale is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony, along with 3rd degree assault involving domestic violence and disturbing the private peace (PPD) involving domestic violence, both misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $5,000.
On Apr. 25th, 2020, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a woman in Vailoa asking for help after being assaulted by her husband. The husband was later identified as Setu Tesimale, the defendant in this matter.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the reporter in this case, who was also the victim. Tesimale was placed under police custody after police interviewed the victim.
Before Tesimale was transported to the TPS, he was patted down for weapons and illegal drugs. During the pat down, police discovered a hard object inside Tesimale’s rear pocket. When asked about the hard object, Tesimale told police that he don’t know what was in his rear pocket.
Police pulled out the hard object and saw it was a glass pipe (commonly use to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance inside. When asked where he got the glass pipe, Tesimale told police he had no idea where the glass pipe came from.
According to the government’s case, Tesimale attempted to destroy the glass pipe after police pulled it out from his pocket by reaching out and grabbing the glass pipe while a police officer was holding it in his hand, and trying to break it, causing the top part of the glass pipe to fall off.
First, Tesimale refused to speak to investigators regarding the glass pipe, but after being read his constitutional rights, he informed investigators that he fully understands his rights and he would like to make a statement.
In his verbal statement to investigators, Tesimale apologized for what happened to his wife and immediately admitted to his action. He told investigators that the glass pipe belonged to him.
He said he went to Le Aute and bought a small sized baggie containing methamphetamine for $25. He then put the meth inside the glass pipe and smoked it at the back of his house. An hour later, he was arrested by police for beating his wife.
During the PX, defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Bob Stuart asked the government to describe to the court how his client attempted to destroy the glass pipe while both of his hands were cuffed. The government’s witness said Tesimale’s hands were not in handcuffs when he attempted to destroy the glass pipe.
Tesimale entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him when he appeared in High Court for arraignment.
Pretrial conference is scheduled for June 19th.