Man just released from custody — already back in court
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was released by the District Court on his own recognizance two months ago after he entered a not guilty plea to disturbing the public peace (PPD) and third degree assault is back in court for the same thing. During his arrest, police found a glass pipe containing methamphetamine in his possession.
Malaki Avei is now charged with 4 misdemeanors: PPD, third degree assault, third degree property damage, and criminal contempt of a court order, all misdemeanors, along with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony.
He entered a not guilty plea during his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago and the court set bail at $5,000. If he is able to post bail, Avei is to abide by conditions of his bond including staying away from where the alleged incident took place.
The government claims that police got a call during the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 17, 2020 regarding a man allegedly throwing rocks at their residence, shouting loudly (Samoan war cry), and yelling profanities.
When cops arrived, the defendant, who was standing on the side of the road ran to the back of the victim’s house holding rocks in both hands. As soon as Avei saw police, he threw down the rocks and fled the scene.
Avei was apprehended by police officers a few blocks from the area where the alleged incident occurred. When police apprehended the suspect, police observed blood coming from his facial area and his head. Another cut was also observed by police on his left foot. Avei was later transported by EMS personnel to LBJ Hospital for treatment.
The victim told police that Avei came to his house drunk and asked him if he could speak to his son. While the suspect and the victim’s son were standing outside of the house, the victim heard Avei shouting profanities at his son. He then came out of the house to check what was going on.
The victim asked the suspect why he was loud and yelling profanities. The suspect did not reply but instead punched the victim in the face. The victim’s son, who was standing beside the suspect, then struck the suspect’s head with a hard piece of wood.
The suspect then ran to the back of the victim’s house. A few moments later, the victim and his family heard rocks hitting the roof of the house, while one rock hit the victim’s vehicle parked beside the house.
The victim told investigators that Avei continued to yell profanities in front of their home, and threatened him, saying he was going to come over and cut him with a machete, and chop everyone up.
The suspect was treated at the LBJ Hospital and was later released into the custody of police. When asked about the alleged incident, the suspect told police that he went to confront the victim’s son for spreading rumors that he’s (suspect) involved in selling illegal drugs in the village.
While admitting to assaulting the victim, before the victim’s son hit him with a piece of wood, Avei said he was pushed by the victim’s son while he was talking to him, and his head hit the back of a vehicle. That is when he got mad and yelled out a profanity; and that’s when the victim came out and yelled profanities back at him and threatened to shoot him with his gun.
Before Avei was transported to the TPS for further investigation, he was patted down; and police discovered a hard object inside his pants pocket. When police asked Avei about the hard object inside his pocket, he told police that it was “a gun for my stuff”.
Police found a glass pipe inside containing white crystalline substance inside Avei’s rear pocket — there was no gun. When asked about the gun, Avei told police that he was referring to the glass pipe as a gun — not an actual gun or a weapon.
He further stated to police that he drank beer and smoked meth before he went to the victim’s house.
Avei denied allegations that he’s the one who is selling illegal drugs in the village. He admitted to police that he only smokes methamphetamine, he does not sell it.