Man arrested after stabbing charged with 2nd degree assault
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was arrested three weeks ago after he allegedly stabbed a man with a kitchen knife he had hidden in his pocket.
Lotovale Taualai made his initial appearance in court last month.
He is charged with one count of 2nd degree assault, a class D felony and 3rd degree assault, a misdemeanor.
Bail is set at $5,000.
Several police officers responded to a call from Atuu regarding an alleged incident where a man was injured after he was stabbed twice last month — to his stomach and back.
Police arrived at the scene and noticed a crowd of people gathering at the area where the alleged incident took place. Police also observed a man sitting on the ground while two males held him down in an effort to stop him from fleeing the area.
Police immediately took control of the man being held down and he was placed inside a police unit for his safety. The man was later identified as Lotovale Taualai, the defendant in this matter.
After gathering information from witnesses, Taualai was transported to the police station for further investigation.
An eyewitness told police that he was in his vehicle parked in front of an Asian store when he saw two men fighting each other. He saw the victim try to clasp the defendant but the defendant turned around, pulled out a knife from inside his pocket and allegedly stabbed the victim on his back and stomach.
Other people who were at the scene jumped in and broke up the fight.
When questioned by police, the victim said it was the defendant who started the fight by pushing him to the ground during their drinking session. He told the defendant to stop his stupidity but the defendant continued his action.
He was mad and immediately punched the defendant in the face. He then apologized to Taualai for his action and begged him to go home because he was too drunk.
The victim told police that earlier had had noticed that Taualai was very drunk and was acting different, so he advised him to finish his last beer and go home; but Taualai refused and wanted to continue drinking.
Later on, according to the victim, Taualai left him and walked to the other side of the store. He was almost hit by a vehicle because he was walking in the middle of the road. The victim said that’s when he ran towards Taualai, to check on him and make sure he was okay.
The victim told police that he followed Taualai telling him to go home, however, he was shocked when he felt a sharp object in his stomach. He turned to run but he also felt something sharp on his back. He said he stumbled and felt dizzy, as he pulled the knife away from Taualai’s hand and threw it on the ground, and began holding the area of the stab wound.
The victim underwent surgery and was admitted to the ICU.
When asked by police, Taualai stated that he was mad after the victim called him different names and also punched him in the face. The victim also stole $20 from inside his bag while he went to the store to buy more beer for them.
After the victim punched him, he stood up and walked to the other side of the road. However, he saw the victim following him. He said he had a concealed cooking knife in his shorts.
So when the victim bear-hugged him, that’s when he grabbed the knife with his right hand and stabbed the victim in the stomach and his back.