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Domestic dispute over protection order leads to arrest

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who refused to leave his girlfriend’s home pursuant to a civil protection order from the Court and approached his girlfriend and her family with a machete is in custody after he was arrested last month. During his arrest, cops discovered illegal drugs on him.

Anthony Tipena made his initial appearance in Court last month. He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), a felony, along with one count of disturbing the peace (PPD) inside his home, along with one count of 3rd degree assault, both misdemeanors.

Due to the nature of the alleged incident and the previous encounter with the defendant and his girlfriend’s family, the court set bail at $5,000.

If he posts bond, Tipena, 42, is ordered not to set foot in his home in Fogagogo but to reside elsewhere. He was also ordered not to have any contact with the victim in this matter, his girlfriend.


Around 7p.m on June 19, 2021, a woman from Fogagogo contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) alleging that her boyfriend, Anthony Tipena, the defendant in this case, was causing a disturbance in her family by yelling profanities at her (victim) and threatening her two brothers with a machete, and also engaging in a fist fight with one of her brothers. Furthermore, the defendant has a civil protection order from the Court against him, which prohibits him from coming into their home or trying to contact her in any way.

Several police officers responded, and the victim first showed officers the restraining order and then pointed out Tipena, who was standing outside of the house.

Officers then proceeded to apprehend the defendant, who resisted arrest when they tried to place handcuffs on him. A scuffle with police on the ground ensued, but they were able to apprehend the defendant and transport him to the TPS for questioning.

After being Mirandized, Tipena said he understood his rights and agreed to make a statement.

He told investigators that it was his girlfriend who instructed him to come to her place to discuss their relationship, however, when he told his girlfriend that it’s better for both of them to separate for some months to see if there are any changes, his girlfriend did not agree with him and started yelling at him and accusing him for all the problems that affected their relationship.

In the end, his girlfriend told him to leave the house before she called police, however, the defendant told investigators that the reason why he did not want to leave the house was because he has spent thousands and thousands of dollars to renovate the whole house and now his long-time girlfriend wanted him to leave.

He stated that his girlfriend had accused him of doing drugs, which is not true. He said he loves his girlfriend, and he wants to continue their relationship.

The victim told police during an interview her side of the story.

She said she arrived at her residence at around 5p.m thinking that her boyfriend was vacating their home after being served with the restraining order. However, when she arrived home, she saw him standing in front of the house holding a kitchen knife saying that he wouldn’t leave the house, and then walked back inside the house.

The victim then called her two male cousins who live a few blocks away from her home and informed them about her situation. A short time later, her two male cousins arrived and peacefully spoke with Tipena, but the victim told police that her boyfriend did not want to listen. He continued to cause trouble and at one point, he punched one of her male cousins in the face.

That is when the victim called the TPS to report the matter while standing outside of the house with her cousins. Right after the victim called police, the defendant came outside the house holding a kitchen knife in his right hand and threatening her and her cousins saying that he would kill them. The victim was scared because the defendant had hit one of her cousins and had recently broken her bedroom door using a metal ladder.

The victim then fled into the house and was hiding to wait for police to assist her while her two cousins were both standing outside of the house to keep an eye on the defendant, who was standing at the back of the house.

The victim also told investigators that this is not the first time her boyfriend has threatened her with a knife.

Before Tipena was transported to the TPS for questioning, he was patted down for officers’ safety, and during the body search, officers discovered a small stamp-sized baggie containing white crystalline substance that later tested positive as meth.

Tipena told investigators that the meth found in his possession belonged to him.