Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On November 17, 2023, a 66-year-old grandfather was arrested and charged with a class D felony crime of Child Abuse punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine up to $5,000.00, or both, for hitting his grandson with a pipe.
Bail for defendant was set at $3,000.
(Samoa News has chosen not to identify the defendant or victim in this case due to the victim being a minor.)
According to the affidavit, on November 15, 2023, a man contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and reported that a 10 year-old minor, who is his son’s friend, was believed to have been assaulted. He was concerned because his son had mentioned to him that his friend was injured.
The affidavit also stated that upon arrival at the scene, the police met with the alleged victim’s guardian. The alleged victim’s guardian was informed of the reported call and she directed the officers to the victim. Officers observed a massive bruise and a puncture wound on the victim’s right arm. The victim stated that it was his grandfather who had beaten him up with a pipe that had a nail mounted on it.
The defendant was approached by the officers in front of his home and briefed about the incident, whereas the defendant allegedly admitted that he had hit his grandson’s right arm using a PVC pipe with a nail mounted on it. The defendant was apprehended and placed into the police unit while the victim and his legal guardian were placed into another police unit. Both parties were transported to the TPS for further investigation.
Upon arrival at the TPS, the victim was treated by the EMS. According to the affidavit, the police interviewed the victim in the presence of his legal guardian. The legal guardian is the victim’s aunt and she disclosed that the victim is a special needs child. The victim told police that his grandfather struck his right arm using a PVC pipe that has a nail mounted on it; and that he “felt a lot of pain and was afraid of his grandfather for beating him up several times when he disobeyed him.”
The Department of Human & Social Services (DHSS) also conducted their assessment and placed the victim into his guardian’s residence.
Defendant was Mirandized whereas he said he understood and waived his rights. He agreed to answer questions and provided a written statement regarding the reported incident.
The affidavit disclosed that according to the defendant, he heard the victim’s little brother crying because he was beaten by the victim.
Defendant became upset and he grabbed a PVC pipe and struck the victim’s right arm three times. However, after beating up the victim, he was shocked to see a puncture wound and bruise on the victim’s right arm. He treated the victim’s injuries by putting hot water on to heal the open wound. He (defendant) also stated that the school counselor and principal contacted him for a meeting at their office and they had settled the said matter (PVC pipe beating) at the school office and allegedly hadn’t reported it to the police.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGED ASSAULT OF HIS WIFE
A man was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife and for private peace disturbance over a photo he showed her that was from his house surveillance cameras.
(Samoa News has not used the name of the victim or defendant due to minor children being involved in the incident.)
According to the affidavit, on November 12, 2023, a woman called the Tafuna Police Substation to report her husband had assaulted her at their house in Fogagogo.
Upon arrival at the scene, the officers met up with an unknown female, later identified as the victim. The victim briefed the officers on what had occurred and told police her husband was inside the house.
Police entered the house and met up with an unknown male, later identified as the defendant. When asked by the police officer what had happened, he answered “that he had a disagreement with his wife but everything was okay.”
The victim and defendant were both asked to go to the TPS for further investigation into the issue.
At the TPS, the victim was placed inside the Conference Room, whereas the defendant was questioned inside the Interrogation Room.
According to the victim’s written statement, “Her daughter woke her up in the morning and said her dad (the defendant) wanted her to come and prepare the food.” Then she came out and sat inside the living room where her husband was having breakfast. She said her husband (defendant) asked her “why she hasn't left the house yet and go eat the world and some nonsense.” She (victim) then walked back to the room to clean, and her husband came through and showed her a photo of a person on his phone and that’s when they started arguing. The victim further stated that she slapped the phone away and asked if he wanted to destroy their relationship without any proof but he kept yelling at her.
Moreover, the affidavit stated, as she continued to clean the room, her husband told her to leave the house and go stay with her new husband. She then went to the kitchen to get water to drink without saying anything to her husband. As she called her older daughters to come eat after her younger kids ate, she told her husband about “his fake love” and he told her to take her children to her new husband to take care of them. He told her to tell her children that she had an affair with a new husband. And he also threatened her “that if he saw her and her new husband inside the house that he would cut them into pieces.” As they continued arguing, her husband allegedly hit her with a wire, then he stood up and tried to choke her.
According to the affidavit, the defendant got mad because of his wife’s loud voice and he stopped choking her and he scraped her mouth with his fingernails twice. That is when her young daughter started crying and came between the couple, and that’s when victim called the TPS for help.
The defendant was Mirandized, and agreed to provide a written statement.
According to the defendant’s written statement, on Nov 12, 2023 he had an argument with his wife when he showed her a photo of an image that was caught on his house surveillance cameras.
The photo appeared to show someone opening his house door. He asked his wife who the person on the surveillance footage was, and she said she didn't know. The defendant explained that is when their argument got worse as his wife was yelling profanities at him and calling him “jealous”. That’s when he allegedly tried to close her mouth and his fingernail tip caused minor injuries to her mouth and then later his wife called the police.
The defendant was booked and confined at the Tafuna Correctional Facility until the next sitting in District Court.
He is charged with Count 1: Assault in Third Degree (DV), a class A Misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000 or both, but not less than $150 and Count 2: Private Peace Disturbance (DV), a class C misdemeanor, punishably by imprisonment for up to 15 days, a fine of $300, but not less than $150 or both.
Bail is set at $1,000.
Both victim and defendant are citizens of Samoa, while their three minor children are US nationals.