Man finally arrested for alleged assault of uncle and his wife from last year
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 46-year-old man accused of assaulting his 58-year-old neighbor with a knife and metal pipe last year is now in custody after he was arrested last month.
Alefa Failautusi was arrested during a traffic stop for driving a vehicle with an expired license plate tag. During the stop, police discovered illegal drugs in his pocket.
It’s not known at this time why the government waited so long to file their case against Failautusi.
The government alleges that it was Dec. 27, 2020 around 5:24p.m the Tafuna Police Station (TPS) received a call requesting police assistance after a man had allegedly been assaulted by a man with a knife and a metal pipe at a family compound in the Tafuna area. The caller stated to police that the man who committed the alleged crime was walking on the road with a knife in his hand while the injured man was still in the house.
Furthermore, the caller also revealed to police that the man with the knife is the same man allegedly selling drugs in their neighborhood, including to students.
Police officers responded to the call and met up with several witnesses who briefed them regarding the alleged incident. EMS personnel were also notified and the victim was transported to the LBJ Hospital for treatment.
The victim was discharged after spending two days at the LBJ and was staying with a friend in Pago Pago. The move was to separate the victim and the defendant.
Officers interviewed the victim at the home of a family member and observed injuries on the victim’s face, and left and right hands.
According to the victim’s statement to police, he was preparing food for his family dinner when his front door suddenly opened and his neighbor, Tusi [Alefa Failautusi], the defendant in this case, stormed into the house with a metal pipe in his hand and demanded to know why he (victim) scolded his two young daughters in church during Sunday service.
The victim tried to calm the defendant down and to explain the reason why he (victim) scolded the defendant’s two young daughters. The victim told the defendant that his daughters were the only female individuals mentioned in a drinking session where young men from the church were involved four days prior.
Failautusi told the victim he had no business at all to confront his daughters.
However, as the two exchanged words, the victim was shocked when his nephew (defendant) swung a metal pipe towards his face, he ducked, but he ended up being hit in the back of his head causing a big cut.
The defendant swung the metal pipe a second time, hitting the victim above his left eye causing a laceration there. A third swing of the metal pipe caught the victim’s raised left hand, which was to block the blow.
That’s when the defendant pulled out a knife from his pocket and started stabbed the victim on his back multiple times before he kicked him in the face and his body while the victim was on the floor.
The victim stated that the defendant then left the scene after he assaulted him. The victim did not wish to file a criminal complaint against his neighbor, saying that the defendant is like a son to him and his wife and they also go to the same church — and he doesn’t want him to suffer because he loves him as much as he loves his sister.
Police were unable to locate the defendant at that time, and spoke to the defendant’s neighbor regarding the incident. According to the neighbor, it was after the defendant assaulted the victim that he ran back to his house to look for his wife.
The neighbor further stated to police that while the defendant was looking for his wife, the 32-year-old wife was hiding in another neighbor’s house. The wife further asked the neighbor to help her because the defendant was going to hurt her with a knife.
The neighbor was afraid for her safety and instructed the wife to run towards the main road. The neighbor saw the wife fleeing from her house carrying her one-year old daughter and running towards the trees leading toward the main road. A few moments later, the neighbor saw the defendant running in the same direction carrying a machete in his hand.
Several police officers were called for backup and they searched for the defendant. The defendant was nowhere to be found. Police then informed neighbors to notify DPS as soon as they observed the defendant in the area.
Police located the wife and brought her in for questioning. The wife told police that two days prior to the incident, she was informed by church members that her two daughters — aged 16 and 17 were involved in a drinking session with men, so, she tried to hide the incident from her husband (defendant) because she knew that her daughters would be in trouble if her husband found out about the drinking session.
And while she was speaking to another church member on the phone, her husband (defendant) entered the room and found out the subject they were discussing in the telephone conversation. As a result, the telephone conversation was cut short when the defendant entered the room and that’s when the verbal argument between the couple started.
At this time, their infant daughter had fallen asleep. The defendant asked his wife for the reason why she tried to hide the incident from him. The wife lied and pretended like she was trying to get advice from the pastor’s wife on what she should do about their teenaged daughters.
The defendant then became angry with her and accused her of lying to him and to the church. The defendant allegedly was drunk and he started to act violently towards his wife.
The wife was very afraid and started crying at the same time telling her husband (defendant) she was not trying to hide the incident with their daughters, however, the defendant continued accusing her of being a bad mother and wife, who allegedly encouraged their daughters to go out with men for money.
According to the wife, her husband was very angry, and allegedly beat her, punching her on her back and using a bamboo stick to hit her on the side of her thigh. He also slapped and punched her in her face.
She then saw the defendant grab a machete and threaten her, telling her to wait in the house and not go anywhere, and that he was going to beat his uncle with the machete because he (uncle) is the other person who also tried to hide the incident from him.
When the wife saw that the defendant had gone to the uncle’s house, she immediately took her infant daughter and ran to her neighbor’s house and asked for help. She then left her neighbor’s house and ran towards the trees that led to a family-members’ residence and stayed there until her friend came and picked her up.
The wife further told investigators that this is not the first time her husband accused her of hiding things their daughters did from him.
Last month on Sept. 27th, two police officers were patrolling the Tafuna public highway area when they observed a black truck heading westbound at a high rate of speed. Officers ran the vehicle’s plate number and that reveled that the license tags expired two years ago. Officers immediately pulled over the vehicle.
As officers approached the driver’s side, they observed one male individual driving and he was the only occupant of the vehicle. The driver was later identified as Alefa Failautusi, the defendant in this matter.
During the process, officers discovered that there was an active warrant from last year under Failautusi’s name.
A body search was conducted and officers discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance in his pocket. Failautusi refused to make a statement to officers regarding the glass pipe and the allege assault case from last year.
Faaleomiti made his initial appearance in court last month.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, a felony; one count of 1st degree assault, a class A felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years and not more than 30 years; along with one count of 3rd degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Failautusi is being held in custody without bail.