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Man in court for immigration clearance — arrested

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was arrested at District Court this week when he turned up for an immigration clearance and the Court Clerk discovered that he had an outstanding bench warrant from 2016.

Teofilo Apineru was placed under arrest and appeared before Judge Elvis P. Patea for a  speedy hearing the same morning. He has been remanded to custody without bond until his next hearing on Feb. 13th.

According to court records, Apineru was arrested in May 2016 and charged with third degree assault and disturbing the public peace (PPD), both class A misdemeanors. In October 2016, he pled guilty to PPD under a plea agreement with the government. In return,  the third degree assault charge was dismissed.

Apineru admits that on the day in question, he assaulted a man during a drinking session and yelled cuss words, thus committing PPD.

He was to be sentenced Oct. 28, 2016; however, he was a ‘no-show’. Sentencing was then rescheduled and again, Apineru failed to appear. That’s when a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.