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Man arrested for assaulting sister’s boyfriend, alleges boyfriend is a drug dealer

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who is on probation for an assault conviction from two years ago was arrested by police two weeks ago on the allegation that he assaulted his sister’s boyfriend.

Viliamu Tapelu is charged with one count of second-degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both; and two misdemeanors — trespass and third degree property damage.

If he is able to post bond of $5,000, the suspect is to abide by the usual restrictions, including not to make any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, including the victim.

The matter was reported to police by the victim’s mother after she found out that her son sustained severe injuries to his head and face. The woman told police that the suspect used a rock to assault her 27-year-old son, who was visiting his girlfriend in Ottoville.

The victim, who sustained head injuries, was admitted to the LBJ Hospital where he underwent surgery. Nine stitches were needed to close the gap on the left side of his head.

When he spoke to police, the victim said he was outside talking to his girlfriend (defendant’s sister) when the suspect walked over and called out his name. The victim said he went to see what the suspect wanted and that’s when suspect struck him on the head with a rock.

The victim fell to the ground and the suspect proceeded to kick his back and punch him multiple times in the face. During the beating, the victim said he heard the suspect say, “I don’t want to see you talking to my sister anymore because you’re a thief.”

The suspect was arrested at his home and transported to the Tafuna Substation for questioning. When asked about the incident, the suspect told police he was warning the victim not to come to their home anymore because he knows that not only is he a thief but he’s also selling drugs in their neighborhood.

The suspect told police that on the day of the alleged incident, his cousin, 24, bought one small baggie containing meth from the victim when the victim came to the store next to their home in Tafuna. And when he approached the victim regarding the transaction, the victim said, “That’s none of your business.” This upset the suspect and angered him to the point where he assaulted the victim a few hours later when he came to visit the defendant’s sister.