Man hits friend over the head for allegedly spreading ‘lies’ that he’s a dealer
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who is on probation for a drug conviction from four years ago was arrested last month on the allegation that he assaulted his neighbor by hitting him on the head with a piece of metal. When the defendant was arrested, police discovered drugs on his person and inside his vehicle.
Anapapa Vaifou appeared in court last month for his initial appearance where he informed the court that he opted for a preliminary examination (PX).
Vaifou is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishably by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with trespass and property damage in the 3rd degree; both class A misdemeanors, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both; and 2nd degree assault, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Bail is set at $15,000.
On Nov. 9th, 2020, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a woman in Ottoville asking for help after her nephew was assaulted by their neighbor who was heavily intoxicated and making unreasonable noises in the neighborhood. The neighbor was later identified as Anapapa Vaifou, the defendant in this case.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the victim’s aunt who informed police that the defendant had just fled the scene in his vehicle after he saw police units approaching their home.
Police interviewed the victim and his aunt regarding the alleged incident while at the same time waiting for EMS assistance.
According to the aunt’s statement, she was inside the house that evening with her husband and three young children when she heard a vehicle pull up in front of their house. She later noticed that it was Vaifou’s vehicle. Vaifou lives three houses away from the victim’s house.
According to the statement, she heard Vaifou calling out her nephew’s name. She didn’t think that was anything unusual because her nephew and Vaifou would usually hang out with each other and their friends around the area.
However, she was shocked when she heard her daughter calling out her name and asking her for help because Tino (victim) was injured and he might need immediate assistance from EMS.
The victim’s aunt said that she quickly walked outside of their house, and saw Vaifou standing there holding a piece of metal in his right hand while yelling profanities at her nephew by saying, “I will finish you off if you continue to behave like that, brother.” When Vaifou saw her, he turned and threw the piece of metal at the side door of their vehicle parked outside of the house leaving a hole in the middle of the door.
Photos of the damaged door were taken for evidence.
The aunt said she then called police and EMS for assistance before she went over and assisted her nephew with his injuries while her three little children were just standing beside him (the victim) crying. Her husband had a broken ankle at the time, so he was inside the house during the whole time of the incident.
The victim was transported by EMS to the hospital for treatment and was later discharged. He went straight to TPS for an interview.
The victim confirmed to police that it was Vaifou, a neighbor and a man considered as one of his many friends who assaulted him by hitting his head with a piece of metal causing two big laceration on the back side of his head.
According to the victim’s statement to police, he, along with the defendant and three other friends attended a party the night before the alleged incident. So, he was shocked when the defendant came to his house the next morning and assaulted him without saying anything.
He said he went outside when Vaifou called out his name and he was stunned when Vaifou punched him in the face. He tried to hold Vaifou’s shirt but Vaifou threw another hard punch that landed on his jaw causing him to fall.
While he was on the ground, he begged Vaifou to stop and please explain to him the reason for the assault. Vaifou did not stop, instead he grabbed his neck with his left hand and allegedly hit his head twice with a piece of metal causing his head to bleed.
Scared for his life, he quickly stood up and ran back inside his house while calling out for help.
Two days later on Nov. 11th, police spotted Vaifou’s vehicle pulling in front of a store in Iliili and approached him regarding the alleged incident. Vaifou at first refused to comply with police instructions, but finally agreed to go with police to the TPS for an interview.
Before Vaifou was transported to the TPS, he was patted down, where police discovered a medium baggie inside Vaifou’s rear pocket containing two hand rolled marijuana joints.
An inventory search was conducted for the vehicle in the presence of Vaifou. During the search, police found a black pouch under the driver’s seat containing two small stamp-sized baggies containing white crystalline substance.
First, Vaifou refused to speak to investigators regarding the drugs found in his possession and inside his vehicle, but after being Mirandized, he informed investigators that he would like to make a statement.
In his verbal statement to investigators, Vaifou apologized for what happened to the victim and immediately admitted to his action. He told investigators that the drugs did belong to him. He said he went to the Filifili area two days prior to the incident and bought drugs for $50.
When asked about the alleged assault, Vaifou admitted that he hit the victim’s head with a piece of metal. He said he was really mad when he heard the victim had spread false rumors about him saying that he (Vaifou) is selling drugs from his home and he’s also receiving stolen items from several people in exchange for drugs.
During the PX, defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson asked the government to describe to the court how police stopped his client’s vehicle. He wanted to know if there was a traffic violation when his client’s vehicle was pulled over.
The government explained that Vaifou’s vehicle was spotted and pulled over in front of an Asian store in Iliili. That’s when police approached Vaifou and asked him to come with them to the TPS to discuss a matter in which he was allegedly involved.
The government’s witness further stated to the court that according to the defendant’s statement, he planned to assault the victim for spreading untruthful rumors about him.
Vaifou is on 5 years probation after being convicted in 2016 for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Vaifou’s conviction stems from an incident where he was arrested for disturbing the public peace in Petesa and police found drugs in his possession.