Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A woman contacted the Leone Police Substation (LPS) needing police assistance after she accused her cousin of assaulting her employees. The woman stated that Willie Fa’ataualofa was interfering with one of her truck drivers, who was dropping off a load of dirt in Taputimu, next to the Silva’s construction site.
In addition to allegedly assaulting the driver, the defendant was also accused of opening the driver’s side of the truck and grabbing the employee and attempting to pull him out of the truck.
When officers arrived, they interviewed the Silva workers who stated that they heard a faint argument from their site, shortly after they saw an individual walking up to the house across from the Silva construction site. As officers approached the house, the unknown individual who they later identified as Fa’ataualofa invited DPS officers into his home.
Fa’ataualofa then provided an explanation, and he told officers that he was angry at Ma’ae, the Sa’o of their family, for thinking he owns the land ton which the truck was dumping dirt. He also admited to holding on to the truck driver’s hand and telling him to stop unloading the dirt and rocks onto their land.
The initial caller then walked into the LPS with the truck driver to provide his account of what happened. The driver said that as he was about to offload, when Fa’ataualofa walked from across the street and yelled at him to stop what he was doing.
The driver said that he continued to off-load while shocked and frightened, and that’s when the defendant opened his door and grabbed him to try and pull him out of the truck. The driver also said that the defendant’s actions created a risk to others in the surrounding area because the truck was still operating.
The driver said that it was fortunate that a witness, Ma’ae’s daughter, was there and assisted in preventing Fa’ataualofa from inflicting further harm. A video provided by the Sa’o of the family was provided to the LPS, and shows Fa’ataualofa making threats and allegedly assaulting the driver.
Fa’ataualofa is being charged with two counts — public peace disturbance and assault in the third degree.
Bail is set at $500.
THREATS WITH A MACHETE
A 38-year-old man was arrested when he caused a public disturbance by yelling profanities and “jeering” and allegedly physically assaulting a man in addition to threatening him with a machete.
On Sept 6, 2023, a woman and her daughter walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and reported the incident, which occurred at their residence in Pava’ia’i.
According to the daughter’s verbal and written statement, name withheld as she is a minor, she heard aggressive knocking on the door, and when her older sister opened it, she saw the suspect standing outside, angrily asking for Tai, who was at their house during the altercation.
The young woman says as she went to get Tai, who is her brother's girlfriend, she saw that the suspect had gotten into his car and left. Moments later when they went outside, they saw the suspect’s car pulling in again, and once he parked, he allegedly came outside with a machete in hand.
The young woman says that the suspect then walked towards her brother, machete in hand, and started threatening him by pulling on his shirt and pushing him into the neighbor’s fence. The young woman added that the suspect tried to swing the machete at her brother, and that’s when she jumped in and held onto the machete.
The defendant, Vaisaulu Ekeroma, was apprehended on the same day, Sept 6th, when officers went to his residence in Vaitogi. He was Mirandized at the TPS and cooperated with the officers.
According to the defendant, he was upset that his daughter was sleeping at her boyfriend’s house in Pava’ia’i and went to go look for her, and that’s when he saw his daughter and her boyfriend standing outside of the boyfriend’s house in Pava’i’a’i. Ekeroma admitted that he had a machete on him and pushed his daughter’s boyfriend to the ground.
Ekeroma is facing two charges of assault in the third degree.
His bail is currently set at $1,000.