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Man arrested for PPD, charged with assault and marijuana possession

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man with an outstanding arrest warrant was taken into custody last week after police picked him up for disturbing the peace in Tafuna.

Afele Togiaso, 35, made his initial appearance in District Court this week. Prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey, while Assistant Public Defender Bob Stuart is representing the defendant, who has a previous assault conviction from 2012.

Togiaso is charged with second degree assault and possession of marijuana, both felonies; and two misdemeanors: public peace disturbance and third degree assault.

Bail is set at $10,000 and a preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 20th.


Cops responded to a public peace disturbance case in Tafuna, after a young woman contacted police regarding an intoxicated man yelling profanities at her husband and her kids.

Police arrived and spoke to the caller, who told them it was around 6:21p.m when she called her husband to pick her up, along with their children, in front of Lin Family Store. She said her husband showed up and parked on the front side of the store parking lot.

As her husband was about to exit his vehicle, a truck pulled over and scratched the backside of their vehicle. Her husband exited his vehicle and walked over to speak to the driver of the truck.

As her husband was approaching the driver, a man later identified as the defendant exited the driver’s side of the truck, walked towards her husband, and punched him in the face while yelling, “It’s all your fault!”

The husband fell to the ground and while he was down, Togiaso walked over and kicked him in the face with his steel-toe shoe, causing a cut on the husband’s left eye.

The woman said her husband didn’t throw any punches; instead, he stood up and ran back to his vehicle, while Togiaso followed him. Several bystanders stopped Togiaso from striking the victim again.

Togiaso jumped in his vehicle and tried to leave the scene. But two other vehicles pulled in and blocked him in, in an effort to stop him from fleeing.

Cops apprehended Togiaso from inside his truck, and took him in for questioning. Togiaso admitted that he assaulted the victim for blocking his way to the parking lot, saying the accident was the victim’s fault.

During Togiaso’s interview it was discovered that he has an outstanding arrest warrant from another assault case, where he is alleged to have struck a man on the head with a rock.

During a body search, officers discovered a small stamped-sized bag containing a green leafy substance that tested positive for marijuana, in Togiaso’s possession.


The outstanding warrant is from an incident that occurred May 21, 2019. A woman contacted police after her 32-year-old brother was assaulted by a man who was part of a construction crew that was building their neighbor’s home.

Police obtained video footage of the incident recorded by a store surveillance camera which confirmed Togiaso’s involvement. After police obtained an arrest warrant from the court, Togiaso was nowhere to be found. The owner of the construction company he worked for told police he hadn’t heard from Togiaso since the alleged incident.

Togiaso also has a 2012 conviction. He was sentenced to 20 months detention at the TCF, as a condition of a 5-year probation sentence, after pleading guilty to the amended charge of second degree assault under a plea agreement with the government.

In that case, Togiaso used a knife to stab a man during a drinking session.