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Man arrested several months after assaulting his partner

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who attempted to assault his long time partner with a kitchen knife and later ran away from police in May of this year is now in custody charged in two separate cases.

Mapusaga Faleti made his initial appearance in court last week.

In the first case, Faleti is charged with one count of 2nd degree assault (involving domestic violence), a class D felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Bail in this case is set at $10,000.

In the second case, Faleti is charged with one count of private peace disturbance and one count of resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

Bail in this case is set at $500.


On May 19, 2020 about 12:39a.m, a woman called the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to report that her long time male partner (defendant in this matter) was attempting to assault her and causing trouble at their home. Several police officers responded to the call and met up with a female individual who was later identified as the victim in this case.

The victim told police that the defendant was yelling and shouting at her and said that he was going to kill her (victim) and then walked towards her with a kitchen knife and swung it at her.

The victim ran into her partner’s parents’ room. However, the defendant jumped in and kicked the victim’s 4-year-old daughter and pushed the victim’s 3 year-old son.

The defendant continued to swing the knife at the victim who called the police for help. The victim further stated to police that she was not okay to stay at her partner’s place, so police transported her to her friend’s house for help.

Once police had arrived at the house, the defendant’s mother tried to cover for her son and wanted police to leave. The defendant’s mother told police that it was the victim’s fault that caused the whole problem.

About 5 minutes later, the victim received a phone call from her partner’s mother, stating that if anything  happened to her son (defendant), or if he goes to jail, she’d better watch herself.

The next morning, May 20th, several officers went to locate the defendant at his work place, however, the defendant fled when he saw the police vehicle. Several officers attempted to arrest him, but were unsuccessful and the defendant was nowhere to be found.

Five months later on Sept. 10, 2020, the TPS received a phone call from a man in Malaeimi requesting police assistance regarding his son, who was causing a disturbance at their home and damaging property within his own home. The man also gave police his son’s name.

Officers immediately realized the son had an active warrant from the assault case on his sister-in-law in May of this year. Several police officers responded to the call, and were prepared if the defendant tried to run away.

Officers arrived and met with a male individual who was later identified as the defendant’s brother who explained what had happened. According to the defendant’s brother, the defendant woke up in the morning, started drinking and all of a sudden, he started damaging plywood and other property inside his home as well as stainless pots that were inside their family’s Samoan kitchen — fale umu.

When approached by his father, the defendant got upset, started yelling angrily and in a violent manner. The defendant was acting disorderly before officers arrived at the scene. However, when officers tried to approach him, officers observed that he was holding a machete in his hand.

The defendant immediately took off running into the bushes with the machete in his hand and officers chased after him. The defendant kept running towards the mountainside while officers continued on foot pursuit. He was acting violently during the time of the pursuit as well as the time he was apprehended. He was transported to the TPS for questioning.

The defendant appeared to be intoxicated and officers detected a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath.