Man charged with two felonies after assaulting relative
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Vaitogi was arrested last month for assaulting his young cousin inside his cousin’s house during an altercation. However, during his arrest, cops discovered illegal drugs in his possession.
Ropati Ualesi made his initial appearance in court last month. He’s charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and assault in the second degree, both felonies, along with trespass and public peace disturbing, both misdemeanors.
Bail is set at $10,000.
It was around 3:35p.m, Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 8, 2022 when the TPS received a distress call from a man in Vaitogi requesting police assistance because his nephew (defendant) was causing a disturbance at their home by shouting profanities, making unreasonable noises and assaulting his son (victim). The father told police that his nephew (defendant) had a knife in his possession and that he had pointed the knife at his son’s neck
Several police officers responded to the call and talked with the father who reported the matter. The father told officers that his nephew (defendant) had fled to the bush near their home. The victim’s father further stated that minutes before police arrived he heard the defendant yelling profanities while making his way to the back of their house.
Police officers with their firearms drawn proceeded on foot in the direction where the defendant had fled. The search for the defendant lasted 40 minutes before police discovered him about 70- 80 yards away from the victim’s home. Police discovered the defendant had concealed the knife in his left side pocket with his shirt covering it when police apprehended him.
The defendant was transported to the TPS for further investigation.
When questioned, the victim’s father said that he and his wife had just arrived home and he was notified by his daughter that the defendant had just left their house after assaulting the victim. The daughter (victim’s sister) told her father that the defendant forced his way inside their house and started an argument with the victim. During the argument, the defendant struck the victim causing the victim to fall down. That’s when the defendant pulled out a knife from his pocket and put it on the victim’s neck.
The defendant was transported to the TPS for questioning regarding the alleged incident. After being Mirandized, the defendant responded that he understood his rights and wanted to make a statement regarding the incident.
He told investigators that he was furious at his cousin (victim) because the victim came inside their house and scolded his mother and told his mother to leave the land. The defendant confirmed that the incident started because he had a verbal altercation with the victim at the victim’s house.
He claimed that he forced his way inside the victim’s house after the victim refused to come outside to talk to him. He entered the house and saw the victim sitting on a chair inside the living room watching TV. He asked the victim why he had scolded his mother and told her to leave the land. The victim did not say a word. That’s when the defendant punched him in the face multiple times causing the victim to fall down. The defendant admitted that he pulled out a knife from his pocket and put it to the victim’s neck in an effort to threaten him.
Before the defendant was transported to the TPS for questioning, he was patted down for weapons. During the body search, officers discovered two small stamp sized baggies inside his pocket, each containing a green leafy substance.
When asked about the green leafy substance, the defendant told investigators that he got the drugs from a friend from Vaitogi. He further stated that he bought the drugs for $30 and every week, he got his stuff from his friend. He said he used marijuana whenever he needed it.
The green leafy substance was tested using the Levine Duquenois test kit and it revealed positive results of THC, the active compound in marijuana.