Female off duty police officers charged in drinking and driving cases
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The three female off-duty police officers arrested on the weekend made their initial appearances in District Court this week. They are Alisha Lautoa, Deidre Tusani, and Susana Lin.
Lin, who was the driver of the vehicle pulled over by police officers, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
Lautoa is charged with underage consumption of an alcoholic beverage and prohibited place of consumption, both class B misdemeanors, punishable by imprisonment for six months, a fine of $500, or both.
Tusani is charge with prohibited place of consumption, a class B misdemeanors, punishable by imprisonment for six months, a fine of $500, or both.
All three defendants were released on their own recognizance by the Court subject to certain conditions they must comply with, including not consuming alcoholic beverages; staying in close contacts with their defense attorneys; making all of their court appearances and remaining law abiding.
Their pretrial conference is scheduled for next month.
In the early morning hours this past Sunday, four police officers traveling in a police unit at the Tafuna-Iliili area observed a white vehicle heading west at a high rate of speed. Officers quickly turned their police unit around and followed the vehicle, which was seen turning into the Ottoville intersection and continuing to speed away.
Officers, while they could no longer see the vehicle, continued after it, and as they approached the corner of the Mosooi Business Center building, they saw the vehicle with brake lights on in front of a residence. Officers continued to pursue the vehicle and saw it turn into the dirt road heading towards Fatuoaiga. There was another vehicle in front of them, which slowed the them down. Also, according to the government’s case, since there were potholes and the water puddles on the road near the cemetery, the vehicle finally slowed down and made a full stop in front of the turn-in to the daycare center in Fatuoaiga.
Officers then approached the vehicle, and at that time the driver rolled her window down and officers saw it was off-duty officer Susana Lin, the driver and one of the three co-defendants in this matter. Lin is based at the Fagaitua Police Substation.
Two other female passengers were also inside the vehicle with Lin, and when the passenger was instructed to roll the window down, another off-duty officer was recognized, Tusani.
Lin was then brought out of the vehicle and handcuffs were placed on her wrists. Tusani exited the passenger side and approached two police officers standing on the other side and explained to them why they sped off. At that time, a police officer informed the police officer in-charge that there was an open can of beer in the passenger door.
One of the officers opened the back-passenger door of the vehicle and saw another off-duty police officer — Lautoa — in the back seat with two open cans of beer and one unopened one. Tusani admitted that she drank one can of beer before they were in the vehicle, and she and Lautoa were drinking inside Lin’s vehicle.
Lautoa and Tusani were placed in separate police units while Lin was placed in her vehicle on the passenger side while a police officer drove the vehicle to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS).
Lin was taken to the Traffic Officer for DUI processing, while Tusani and Lautoa were booked and later transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) until the next sitting of the court. Lin was also confined at TCF.
During the investigation alcoholic fumes were detected from their breaths and persons. It was also during the booking process that investigators discovered Lautoa was under the age to consume alcohol, she’s 20 years old and she’s also 3 months pregnant.