Man arrested after domestic violence incident found holding meth
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of holding a knife to his ex-girlfriend’s throat in the presence of their young children was arrested by police and is now in custody. While arresting the man, police found 2 small baggies of methamphetamine on him.
The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last week before Judge Elvis P. Patea.
(Samoa News is not printing the name of the man charged in order to protect the privacy of the victim.)
The government charged him in two separate cases.
In the first case, he’s being charged with five counts, including felonious restraint; unlawful use of a weapon, both class D felonies, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine or both; along with third degree assault and endangering the welfare of children, both class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year imprisonment, a $1,000 fine or both.
In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and one count of resisting arrest, both felonies.
Bond is set at $30,000.
If he posts bond, the court has ordered the usual conditions, including no contact with the victim and her children.
The defendant waived his right to a preliminary examination before Judge Patea. He appeared in High Court last week for his arraignment where he entered a not guilty plea to all the charges against him.
His pretrial conference is now scheduled for May 8th.
On Dec. 16, 2019 around 5:30p.m, several police officers responded to a domestic call that was reported by a woman, who was later identified as the victim in this case.
The victim told police that on Sunday, Dec. 15 around 12:12 just after midnight, she received a phone message from the defendant, asking her about her relationship with her new boyfriend. Shortly after, her room door was kicked open by her children’s father, the defendant in this matter, who forced his way inside the room without permission.
The victim stated that her son and daughter woke up when they heard the loud noise from the door. And, the defendant forced her cell phone away from her and smashed it on the floor before rushing outside of the room. According to the affidavit, he then came back in the room, pushed her onto the bed while yelling angrily, and all this time the kids were at her side.
The victim stated to police that was when he put a knife to her neck and asked her to tell him where he could find her new boyfriend. The victim told the defendant to put the knife down because her children are watching, but the defendant refused. He continued to put the knife against the victim’s neck and kept asking her to tell him where he could find her new boyfriend.
It is alleged that the defendant pulled the victim’s hair and slapped her in the face twice.
The victim and her children were not allowed to leave the room or call anyone until that morning at around 6:30a.m when she was able to leave for work and take her daughter to church and drop her off at her father’s (child’s grandfather) place.
The victim’s son stayed back with the defendant because he told her to leave their son with him.
The victim told police that she did not want to leave her son behind, but out of fear, she complied with what the defendant instructed her to do. Before she left the house, she peacefully asked the defendant not to harm her son. She further stated to him that if he wanted to do something bad, to do it to her — not her son.
While driving off to work, the victim heard the defendant say, “Don’t mess with me or try to fool me around because I will come to your work place and you won’t like it.”
The victim told police that she was afraid for her life and her children’s safety. She said she reported it to the law so that the defendant could be removed from her house and she had been asking him to move out since mid January 2019.
Several police officers proceeded to the victim’s home in an effort to apprehend the man, but couldn’t locate him. Police were told that he works at a store in the Tafuna area.
Police visited the defendant’s workplace twice over a period of a week, but he was not at work, and were informed by the owner of the store that he doesn’t know why the man was not coming to work.
On Mar. 18th, police proceeded to the house of a friend of the defendant where they located and immediately apprehended him. The defendant resisted by pulling his hands away while officers tried to handcuff him. They searched him before placing him in the police unit, at which time they discovered 2 small baggies containing white crystalline substance that appeared to be methamphetamine, in his left pocket.
The defendant was taken to the Tafuna Substation for questioning and the small baggies containing the white substance was tested and yielded positive for methamphetamine.
When asked about the small baggies, he told police he bought them from a bus driver, who had dropped him off to work. He refused to give a description or the name of the driver.
Furthermore, the defendant told police that the reason why he uses drugs is to calm himself down while he’s dealing with some problems within his family. He also stated to police that he had no intention of hurting his family, that he threatened them to get their attention.
With the victim’s permission police searched the victim’s home in an effort to locate the knife. During the search, police located a kitchen knife hidden under the bed. The victim stated to police that it was possibly the knife the defendant allegedly used during the threats. The victim further stated to police that the defendant is on probation after being convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana 4 years ago.
According to court records, the defendant was sentenced to 5 years probation by the court in 2016, after being convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana. Based on court records, he is still on probation.