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Court Report

[SN file photo]


A 34-year-old man who has been wanted by the District Court since May of last year for not appearing at many of his court hearings was arrested by police this week after he allegedly assaulted his wife in the presence of his two young daughters.

The defendant made his initial appearance before the District Court yesterday morning, where he entered a not guilty plea to third degree assault and domestic violence — both misdemeanors.

According to court records, District Court Judge Fiti Sunia issued two bench warrants for the defendant in May of last year, after he failed to appear on two separate DUI cases. Police and the Court Marshal tried to locate the defendant several times but he was nowhere to be found.

For this case, around 10:40 p.m. on Monday this week, the defendant’s mother contacted the Tafuna Police station for assistance, after her son (defendant) allegedly assaulted his wife in the presence of his two young children. Three police officers responded to the call and met up with the defendant’s wife, who is identified as the victim in the case. According to a court affidavit, the defendant fled the house before police arrived.

The defendant’s mother told police officers that her son assaulted his wife during an argument. She tried very hard to calm her son down but was unsuccessful, and that’s why she contacted police for assistance.

When interviewed by police officers, the victim explained that her husband when he came home argued about how the food was not ready by the time he got home. The victim told police that she then went to her sister-in-law’s house and brought food for her husband. When she got back, the defendant dragged her around and punched her on the left side of her face.

He also burned all of his wife’s important documents, before he left with their two daughters aged 10 and 6 years old, according to court documents.

It was Tuesday this week when the victim contacted the Tafuna Police station again and informed police officers that her husband has returned home and was acting disorderly again towards her. Several police officers responded to the defendant’s house in Faleniu and arrested him.

During his initial hearing yesterday, his attorney, Ryan Anderson asked the Court for a reduction in bail for his client, or to release him on his own recognizance. Prosecutor Bianca Lherisson opposed the defense’s motion and asked the Court to maintain the bond at $1,000, to which the Court agreed.

Sunia told Anderson that it took a year and a half for the Court to find his client, and it is the best decision to remand the defendant to prison, so that the Court will be able to find him for his next court appearance.

If the defendant is able to post his bond, he’s not allow to have a direct or indirect contact with his wife and two children, he has to keep the peace and appear in Court at any time the Court orders him to appear.


A man who went to the Central Police station to talk to a police officer was arrested by police, after he allegedly acted disorderly, making unreasonable noise, including swearing at a senior police officer.

Police reports state that Rintel Iatala went to the Fagatogo police station around 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday night and asked for a person named “Fiaui”. When police officers, who were inside the station, asked him for the purpose of coming to the Police Station, the defendant said that he only wanted to talk to Fiaui.

The defendant got impatient and allegedly stormed out after not being able to get what he wanted, and suddenly swore at a senior police officer. He also made unreasonable noise by making a war cry (fa’aumu), and he also dropped to the ground when police officers were trying to arrest him.

Iatala made his initial appearance at the District Court yesterday morning, where he entered a not guilty plea on the single count of public peace disturbance. He was released by Judge Fiti Sunia on his own recognizance, and was ordered not to go back to the Fagatogo Police station at any time until further order of the Court.


A man who allegedly went to his neighbor’s birthday party with a machete in his hand has been charged by the government with several misdemeanor charges including trespass, public peace disturbance, being armed with a deadly weapon and property damage in the third degree.

Vincent Filemu made his initial appearance at the District Court this week where he entered a not guilty plea to all four charges against him. He is now remanded into custody until he posts a $1,000 bond, while the government is determining whether they are going to file any additional charges against him.

Court Documents indicate the neighbor’s birthday party was quiet and everyone was having fun until the defendant who was heading back home from a drinking session went over and disturbed the peace, which caused family members to contact police for assistance.

The defendant looked drunk while approaching the neighbor’s party, where he was welcomed by his neighbor and they offered him food but not alcohol, because he was too intoxicated. Filemu got mad when one of his neighbors asked him to go home to have a rest, because he was starting to make unreasonable noise at the party, he then stood up and went home.

A few moments later, the defendant reappeared at his neighbor’s party with a machete in his hand, and allegedly using the machete cut up two chairs.

Family members immediately contacted police for assistance and the defendant was taken into custody to await his court appearance on Monday.