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Man allegedly threatening with machete calls the cops on himself

American Samoa District Court

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man has been arrested and charged for allegedly threatening the owner of a sewing shop in Iliili with a machete. Bizarrely, the suspect was the one who reported the incident to the police.

Mr. Liliu Scanlan is charged with three (3) criminal counts:

Count 1 — Public Peace Disturbance, a class B misdemeanor with possible imprisonment for 6 months, a fine of $500, or both;

Count 2 — Assault in the 3rd degree (as a misdemeanor) (Domestic Violence), a class C misdemeanor, punishable for up to 15 days, a fine of $300, but not less than $150 or both; and,

Count 3 — False Imprisonment, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Bail for the defendant is set at $500.

According to the affidavit, on November 20, 2023, Mr. Liliu Scanlan called and reported an intruder inside Flora’s Sewing Shop and stated that a man was holding the owner hostage at gunpoint and hung up. The call was returned by police, and answered by a Mr. Bob Tinae who said “that a man with a machete who was very distraught had used his phone to call the police.”

Arriving on the scene, Mr. Scanlan was observed by police officers talking with two men. The officers were then approached by the victim, Floradelize Bautista (owner of the sewing shop) who stated that Scanlan “came over to her sewing shop (also her home) yelling and shouting at her and demanded that he’s there to collect the rent money.”

The affidavit stated that the victim told police that Scanlan was “very belligerent towards her and he frightened her because he held a machete in his hand waving (it) at her as if he was going to kill her.”

She further stated that he “also walked around the outside of her sewing shop more than ten times with a machete trying to get into her sewing shop.”

Ms. Bautista said she then called her friend to come over because she felt that the defendant was threatening her with the machete. Furthermore, she admitted that she was even more afraid because she had a hard time understanding anything about what the defendant was yelling.

When the defendant left, she went to her neighbor’s house and used his phone to call the police. When asked by police officers if she knew Scanlan, she told the officers that she has never seen him before and “he doesn’t live around her area.”

Scanlan was then apprehended and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for further investigation. “His machete was also seized at the same time.”

Upon arrival at the TPS, Scanlan was questioned and explained to police that stated that he had been knocking on the door of the victim’s residence but she didn’t answer. “So he knocked harder in case she was sleeping but still no answer.”

Scanlan stated that “the only reason why he was there was to collect the rent money so he can send it to his dad who’s off-island.”

He left and then returned, at which time, “he heard people talking inside the house but yet, no one answered the door.”

That was when he said he knew that something was not right. So when he peeked inside the house, the defendant said “he saw a man with no face holding the owner of the sewing shop hostage.” He stated, he then yelled out to the man to let her go and the man responded (to defendant) asking, “if he wants to get shot.”

Scanlan said that’s when he got scared and went over to Tinae’s house to use his phone to call the police.

However, according to the affidavit, the police investigation revealed that Scanlan had gone to the victim’s residence “causing disturbance to the victim, threatening her with a machete, and yelling at her all while trying to get into the sewing shop for no reason.”

The investigation also found that while the defendant stated that he heard a lot of people talking inside the house and speaking Samoan, only the owner, her husband, and a son live there. And at the time of incident, the husband and son were out working. Further, the family is Filipino.

The defendant for this case is a citizen of Samoa.