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Man sentenced to two years at TCF after assault conviction

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man who assaulted another man by punching him in the face and kicking him multiple times while he was on the ground was sentenced last month to 24 months (or 2 years) behind bars.

Lauilo Tagaloa was initially charged with third degree assault; third degree property damage; resisting arrest; and stealing — all class A misdemeanors. However, under a plea agreement, accepted by the court, Tagaloa pled guilty to third degree assault and third degree property damage, each punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. The remaining charges were dismissed.

Tagaloa admits that on Sept. 22, 2020 he, along with two of his male friends, assaulted the victim, who had joined their drinking session at Tagaloa’s home. A verbal argument erupted between the victim and one of Tagaloa’s friends, causing Tagaloa to instruct his friend to leave the premises, however, the victim refused.

As Tagaloa’s friend was leaving the area, the victim yelled out to him and challenged him to a fistfight. That’s when Tagaloa, who had tried hard to calm things down, punched the victim, causing the man to fall down, where Tagaloa continued to assault the victim. He also damaged the victim’s iPad valued at over $100.

When cops tried to place him under arrest, Tagaloa refused to have his hands cuffed and walked away from officers. He told officers that it was not him who started the fight, it was all the victim’s fault who acted violently and making unreasonable noise.

Tagaloa apologized to the court and begged for a second chance, saying he is the only person working to support his 4 young children. The court sentenced Tagaloa to 24 months in jail, subject to several conditions. He is to pay a $100 fine, and attend and complete anger management counseling.