Father of four convicted for assaulting young neighbor deported
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 42-year-old father of four, convicted for assaulting his neighbor’s son with a metal pipe was ordered by the court to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders as a condition of his 5-year probation. He will depart the territory once flights between the two Samoas resume.
Mose Tagaloa, who has been in custody since his arrest in March of last year unable to post a $5,000 surety bond appeared in High Court last week for sentencing.
Tagaloa, an overstayer, was originally charged with 2nd degree assault, the charge he pled guilty to, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
When given the chance to address the court, Tagaloa apologized for his action and begged for a second chance to return home to his wife and children. He also told the court that he was truly remorseful for what he did.
His attorney asked the court for a probated sentenced without any additional period of detention, which was also echoed by the prosecutor in this matter.
After a brief recess, the court sentenced Tagaloa to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Execution of sentence was suspended, and the defendant was placed on probation for 5 years subject to several conditions.
He shall serve 20 months in jail without any release whatsoever. Upon release from detention, Tagaloa must immediately depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for the remaining period of his probation.
The court stated that based on the information provided by Probation, the defendant was here on a tourist visa.
The court ordered that once the defendant finished serving his detention, and with his travel arrangements completed, he would only then be released to the Probation Office and transported to his port of exit.
Furthermore, the court ordered that the certified copy of the Judgment and Sentence must be served on the Chief Immigration Officer or his assignee to make sure the defendant’s name is on their lookout list.
The arrest was made on Mar. 20th, 2020 when Tagaloa and two of his buddies were drinking in front of a house.
According to the criminal complaint, when it started raining, Tagaloa and his friends made their way into the home. At that point, his 17-year old niece and the 18-year-old victim, who is a boy from the neighborhood, were talking in the front of the house.
Tagaloa did not like his niece talking to the victim because he had heard that the victim and his two older brothers were allegedly involved in drugs.
Tagaloa called out to his niece to come home and she did. However, the victim yelled out to Tagaloa, saying that he had no right stopping him from talking to the girl because he’s not her father.
Tagaloa got mad and walked over to the victim’s house, where he allegedly grabbed a metal pipe from the back of his pickup truck and went to strike the victim in his back, while he was not looking. However, the victim turned around in time and put his elbow up to shield himself from the second strike, which caused injuries to his arm and head.
The defendant’s third swing missed the victim who dashed out of the house and sought refuge at the neighbor's home, where a woman contacted police for assistance.
When cops arrived at the scene, they heard the victim's side of the story and EMS personnel were contacted to render medical assistance. Tagaloa was nowhere to be found. Tagaloa was apprehended two days after the incident.