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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) continues to have issues with prisoners escaping ‘over the brick wall’. The latest are two inmates, who were reported by an anonymous caller when they were seen in Fagaima, passing the 4-Kona taxi stand walking towards Kokoland.

On Sept. 9, 2023, Department of Public Safety officers responded to the tip around 3:54 PM, and upon arrival in Fagaima, they observed Wayne Gasolo and Pati Lepou walking towards Kokoland.

Five minutes later, both defendants were apprehended and placed in police units to be transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation.

Upon arrival at the TPS, Department of Public Safety officers then contacted TCF and spoke with a TCF sergeant, who notified them that the day shift conducted a headcount with all inmates accounted for at 3:15 PM.

An account of the escape was made by Lepou.

According to Lepou’s verbal statement, “One of the Correctional Officers let them out of their cell so a clean-up around their cells could be conducted.” He said that he saw the opportunity and notified Gasolo to escape by climbing at the back of the building they were housed in, and over the brick wall.

Lepou further stated that the only reason he escaped was because he had heard news that his mother was sickly, and he wanted to go visit her.

On the same day, Gasolo and Lepou were both Mirandized, with Gasolo refusing to cooperate, while Lepou opted to answer questions.

Both defendants are being charged with escape from confinement, with a $5,000 bail being set for each defendant.