Man detained for alleged assault, released on his own recognizance after pleading defense of sister
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man taken into police custody two weeks ago for allegedly using a kitchen knife to stab another man has been released by the court on his own recognizance, after the government was unable to file additional charges against him.
According to court information, Talaese Poulima was charged with public peace disturbance and third degree assault, both misdemeanors.
He made his initial appearance two weeks ago in District Court.
Poulima was held without bail, to await the government's filing of additional charges this week, as police were still investigating the case.
He appeared in court this week for another hearing, where the government’s attorney informed the court that no additional charges would be filed.
With that said, the court released Poulima on his own recognizance and his next court date is Dec. 2, 2020.
Among the conditions of release is that Poulima not make any direct or indirect contact with the alleged stabbing victim, and he is to remain law-abiding.
To ensure that the court’s message is clear, Poulima was informed about what no contact with the victim means. Poulima is prohibited from going to the victim’s home, and using social media including Facebook and other modern technology to contact the victim. And when Poulima sees the victim in public, “It’s your responsibility to leave” and stay away from the victim.
According to court information, the incident took place in Tafuna. Witnesses told police that Poulima allegedly used a kitchen knife to stab the victim’s shoulder and back multiple times. While the victim was on the ground, Poulima allegedly kicked him in the stomach twice before he walked away from the scene.
The victim was rushed to the hospital. While the motive of the alleged stabbing remains unclear, witnesses tell police the incident occurred during a drinking session.
When questioned by police, Poulima said that the victim was the one who allegedly broke into his home one week prior to the incident and allegedly touched his sister in a sexual manner while his sister was sleeping with his two young daughters in the living room.
Poulima further stated to police that this is not the first time the victim had done this to his sister while his sister’s husband is out to work.
When questioned by police, the victim strongly denied any knowledge about the allegation that he sexually touched the defendant’s sister while sleeping with her children.