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Man arrested for allegedly threatening victim with a machete for ’telling on him’


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On April 27, 2024, a concerned mother contacted Fagatogo Central Police Station (FCPS) to seek assistance regarding two men allegedly threatening her family in Utulei.

One of the men was apprehended and later charged with:

Count 1: Public Peace Disturbance — a class B misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for six months, a fine of $500, or both; and,

Count 2: Assault in the Third degree ( As a C Misd.) — a class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) days, a fine of $300, or both.

The defendant’s bail was set at $1,000.

According to the affidavit, on April 27, 2024 at about 12:15 hours, a mother called for police assistance regarding Mark Nelisi (defendant) who she alleged was being aggressively unruly, yelling profanities and threatening her husband with a machete in their driveway in Utulei.

Police officers were dispatched to the call and upon arrival at the scene observed two unknown males and a female in the caller’s driveway.

The officers met with one of the unknown males, who verbally stated that he was intoxicated and that he had come to the victim’s house to ask why he had called the village mayor on their drinking session. He also accused the victim of lying to the village mayor that they were using drugs at the aumaga’s house.

In addition, the unknown man, who was later identified as Mark Nelisi (defendant), stated that the victim’s son approached him holding a gun and he got scared.

The other unknown male, identified as Fa’afetai Kaleopa, verbally stated to police that this is not the first time the victim had called the village mayor and lied to him that they are doing drugs.

While interviewing Nelisi and Kaleopa, officers observed yet another unknown male approaching them, who identified himself as the victim.

The victim stated that his family was sleeping and all the house lights were off when an unknown caller called his cell phone asking him why he called the village mayor and lied to the mayor that they were doing drugs. The unknown caller threatened the victim and challenged him to come down to the basketball court near EOB to fight, but the victim replied no. The caller then told the victim that he was going to walk up to their house and the victim replied that he would be waiting.

The victim said he then heard yelling and profanities coming from down the road outside his house.

The victim explained that he walked outside with his son and observed two unknown males on their driveway where the other unknown male was holding a machete.

He said the unknown male was the defendant, Nelisi, who was holding the machete and threatened the victim saying “that this is what he is going to get”.

The victim’s daughter then came out of the house and approached the defendant to calm him down.

Officers asked the defendant about the whereabouts of the machete and the defendant showed the officers the machete lying next to the coconut tree near the driveway. The machete was confiscated and the defendant was apprehended and placed inside the police unit.

After apprehending the defendant, one of the officers met with the victim’s son. The victim’s son was interviewed in the presence of the victim where he was asked regarding the firearm mentioned by the defendant. The victim’s son stated it was a toy gun and that he had painted it black.

Upon arrival at the police station, the defendant was booked and confined to the Tafuna Correctional Facility to await the next available sitting of the District Court.

During the booking, officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the defendant’s breath and reddish or bloodshot-like eyes.

The defendant is identified as a 19-year-old U.S National.