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Escaped prisoner still at large —location unknown at this time

The Department of Public Safety is tight lipped about the escape of an inmate from the Tafuna Correctional Facility early Sunday morning. The inmate in question is Tao Liu, who was being held behind bars on a no bail status on 11 criminal charges, which included attempted assault, unlawful possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of controlled substance of marijuana and unlawful possession of controlled substance of methamphetamine, possession of an unlicensed firearm, resisting arrest, careless driving and public peace disturbance.

Commissioner of Public Safety, Save Liuato Tuitele did not confirm nor deny that an inmate escaped but stated “we are investigating this matter and will provide details later.”

Samoa News contacted the West Substation and a police officer confirmed that they were informed about an escaped inmate, yesterday afternoon. Samoa News also contacted the Tafuna Correctional Facility however the Correction Officers were told not to “release any information to anyone.” However one TCF officer told Samoa News that it’s true — the Asian inmate escaped, however details of the escape were not discussed.

The officer said that there were several calls from members of the public, however all the officers were instructed not to say anything regarding this incident.

However, the officer told Samoa New that he feels for members of the public who live in the area — for their safety, he’s saddened that DPS officials gave instructions not to say anything about the escape. He also said that the inmate who escaped was arrested for drugs so it does raise a concern  as to why the public was not informed, for their safety

 It’s unclear as of press time if the inmate has been located, but Samoa News understands that TCF officers are patrolling the main highway looking for the Asian inmate. 

Liu was arrested last month following a traffic stop in which police uncovered a handgun, live ammunition, the drug, methamphetamine and various drug paraphernalia. The traffic officers, who stopped him, said he was acting strangely, and resisted getting out of the vehicle when he refused to take the sobriety test and it was then they saw the butt of what they believed was a gun, and pulled him out of the vehicle and subdued him

During questioning by the police, Liu admitted that the ice, marijuana and the handgun belonged to him.