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Man assaults person trying to rob him and is arrested

American Samoa District Court building
Does not press charges against alleged ‘robber’

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Samoa News first reported of a man allegedly assaulted by another man in front of an Asian store for attempting to steal his groceries that were in the back of his vehicle last month. The man was arrested by police last month and further information of the assault has since surfaced.

The man that was assaulted for allegedly trying to steal groceries, was also accused  of attempting to steal tools from the assaulter’s home and vehicle parked in front of his house, which is next to the store where the alleged assault took place.

The assaulter is identified as Talosaga Malele, who made his initial appearance in court last month.

He is charged with 3rd degree assault; public peace disturbance (PPD) and property damage in the 3rd degree, all misdemeanors.

Malele is now released on his own recognizance while awaiting his next court appearance, which is scheduled for May 21, 2021 at 8:30a.m

According to the government’s case, a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Station (TPS) for assistance after a man allegedly assaulted a young male in front of an Asian store in the Tafuna area.

Several police officers responded to the call and observed a crowd of people gathering in front of the store. As officers approached the crowd, they observed a young male sitting on the ground with blood covering his face, while another man was standing beside him.

The man seen sitting on the ground was later identified as the victim in this case, and the man standing next to him was later identified as the defendant in this case. The victim was transported by EMS to the LBJ Hospital for further treatment while the defendant was placed inside the police unit for his own safety.

Officers interviewed some of the witnesses to the incident.

The first witness told police that the two men involved in this incident were both inside the store. The defendant was paying for his shopping while the victim was standing behind him. After Malele paid for his shopping, he exited the store and walked to his vehicle and put his shopping inside while the victim followed him outside.

Malele’s 15-year-old son ran towards him and told him (Malele) that a man wearing a blue hat with a white shirt attempted to break into their house and also tried to open the door of their pickup truck parked in front of their house, which is next to the Asian store.

Malele’s son further told him that the man was inside the store. The man Malele’s son was referring to is the victim in this case.

Malele then walked back inside the store. It was at that time the witness saw the victim run towards the defendant’s vehicle, open the back door and grab a shopping bag full of items.

The defendant saw what happened and he immediately ran out to his vehicle and allegedly grabbed the victim’s shoulder and pushed him away while the victim was still holding the bag in his right hand.

After a brief confrontation between the two men, the defendant punched the victim in the face causing him to fall on the ground. The defendant also kicked the victim’s back and leg while he was on the ground, and also damaged the victim’s cell phone.

Malele asked the victim why he attempted to break into his house and vehicle and the victim said he was looking for food.

A crowd of people immediately rushed to the scene and were able to pull the defendant away.

Three other witnesses were questioned by police regarding the incident, and they all echoed the same statement of what happened. One witness told police that the victim threatened to kill the defendant by shooting him after he was allegedly assaulted by the defendant.

When questioned by police regarding the incident, the defendant admitted to the allegation and immediately apologized for his actions. He said he was very angry when his son told him about the victim attempting to break into his house and vehicle.

Malele told police that the victim followed him all the way from inside the store outside to the area where his vehicle was parked, and at one point he stopped and turned around and saw the victim following him and asked him why he was following him, but the victim did not say anything.

The defendant told police that when he exited the store, the second time — having gone back in to buy batteries — he saw the victim open the door of his vehicle and attempt to steal one of the bags full of shopping on the back seat. He quickly ran to his vehicle and grabbed the victim’s shoulder and pushed him away.

The victim turned around and threw a punch, which hit his chest. That’s when he turned around and punched the victim in the face causing him to fall on the ground. Out of anger, he also kicked the victim in the back and his leg while he was lying on the ground.

Malele told officers he would not press charges against the victim. All he wanted to do was to find a chance to apologize to him for his actions.