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Disagreement over vehicle repair leads to alleged assault

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 35-year-old man from Tafuna accused of using a metal tool to assault another man has been arrested and charged with second degree assault, a felony, punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both; and two misdemeanor charges, unlawful use of a weapon and public peace disturbance.

The charges against Ualesi Evalu stem from an incident that occurred last month in Tafuna, where he allegedly used a metal tool from his mechanic shop to assault and severely injure another man.

According to the police report, Evalu and the victim got into a disagreement regarding a vehicle that was given to Evalu to fix. In the middle of the verbal disagreement, the victim allegedly assaulted Evalu by punching him in the face causing Evalu to fall.

The victim then walked back to his car that was parked a few feet away from the area where the alleged assault took place. However, when Evalu stood up, he grabbed a metal pipe that was lying beside him and followed the victim, and allegedly striking the victim’s head from behind, causing an open cut on the left side of the victim’s head. The victim ran.

Evalu made his initial appearance in the District Court, where he waived his right to a preliminary examination.

Evalu’s attorney asked the court for a reduction in bail — from $5,000 to $2,000. He told the court that Evalu is a hard working man, and he is the only member of his family who works to provide for his wife and two children. Defense attorney said his client is not a flight risk; and he has no intention of leaving his family.

The prosecutor opposed the defense’s motion, saying the bail set by the court is the right amount for the alleged offense the defendant committed.

The defense motion was denied and bail remains at $5,000; and because he is unable to post bond, Evalu remains in custody at the TCF.