Man from Ofu arrested and charged for burning down his house
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Ofu, Manu’a is now in custody after being arrested and charged for burning down his own home in Ofu while his daughter was inside the house.
The man, Faleolosega Fetu appeared in District Court last week.
He is charged with a single count of arson in the first degree, a class B felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than fifteen years.
Bail is set at $10,000 and preliminary hearing is scheduled for Apr. 30th, 2021.
The government alleges that on Mar. 10, 2021 about 7:33a.m, a woman contacted the Ofu Manu’a Police Substation (OMPS) requesting police assistance, regarding actions of her dad, identified as Faleolosega Fetu, the defendant in this matter.
The daughter, who reported the matter to police, stated that the defendant demanded that she get him a pack of cigarettes and then he threatened her, if she didn’t get him a cigarette, he would burn down their house. The threat came on the heels of the man damaging the windows and making unreasonable noise repeatedly near the school campus.
Two police officers from the Ofu Manu’a Substation responded to the call and met up with the daughter in this matter.
Officers arrived at the scene and observed that the defendant’s house was already on fire and several bystanders were near the incident attempting to put out the blaze. As officers tried to assist bystanders to put out the fire, the defendant approached one of the officers with a hatchet and a crowbar trying to stop him from putting out the fire.
During that time, Airport Rescue Fire Fighters (ARFF) assisted police officers, immediately engaging with fire equipment to extinguish the fire with the help of some of the villagers.
The defendant and his daughter were taken into the OMPS for questioning. The defendant’s daughter told officers that she had a disagreement with her dad (defendant) about cigarettes, then she left to work at Olosega Elementary nearby the house, leaving her father home by himself.
She further told police that her father started the fire on purpose putting the elementary school and the staff at risk. Olosega Elementary is approximately 40-feet from the defendant’s home that burned down.
The defendant was later transported to OMPS by police officers where he was booked and confined to wait for transportation to Tutuila, the next day — Mar. 11, 2021 and for the next sitting of the court.