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Man charged with assault released on his own recognizance

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man who was released by the District Court on his own recognizance last month after he entered a not guilty plea to third degree assault, property damage and trespass, is back in court for the same thing.

Mark Alesana is being charged with six misdemeanors including 2 counts of third degree assault, 2 counts of third degree property damage, public peace disturbance, and criminal contempt of court.

He entered a not guilty plea during his initial appearance in District Court this week, where Judge Fiti Sunia set bail at $500. If he is able to make bail, Alesana is ordered to stay away from where the alleged incident took place, be a law-abiding citizen, and remain sober.

Assistant Public Defender Anna Wells appeared on behalf of Alesana while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell.

The government claims that police got a call for assistance during the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 from a concerned citizen, regarding a man allegedly throwing rocks at their house, shouting out loud (Samoan war cry), and yelling profanities.

When they arrived at the scene, responding officers say the defendant walked towards the police unit, yelling profanities at them.

As cops were trying to exit the police vehicle to apprehend him, Alesana fled the scene. A few moments later, he was captured.

When they were putting handcuffs on him, Alesana continued to yell profanities and threaten the officers saying in Samoan, “kakala loa a’u i kua ou ke fasiokia uma oukou” (when I am released, I will kill you all.)”

Alesana was placed in one of the police units but he continued to resist.

When questioned by police, the victim said they were asleep when they heard a rock hit the roof of their home. When he came outside to check who threw the rock, he saw Alesana standing behind their vehicle holding rocks in both hands.

The victim told police that his older brother called out to Alesana asking why he was yelling profanities at his dad. The victim said that's when he intervened and told his brother that he would handle the situation.

While the victim was talking to his brother, Alasana threw one of the rocks and it hit his back, while the second rock hit his brother’s face. Alesana fled the scene.

A few moments later, he returned with a metal pipe in hand and threatened to smash the victim’s car windshield; that's when police arrived and arrested the defendant.

Alesana is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 30 for his pretrial conference.