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Man spends weekend in jail after allegedly assaulting a taxi driver

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 42-year-old man from Leone spent last weekend at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF), for allegedly assaulting a taxi driver.

Esau Laloulu made his initial appearance in District Court this past week, where he entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him. Laloulu is being charged with 3rd degree assault and PPD.

The government claimed that Laloulu allegedly punched the taxi driver in the face inside a store in Leone last Friday night, after the taxi driver refused to pay back the money he owed to the defendant. The defendant and the victim are from the same village.

Laloulu had gone to the store to buy more beer for him and his friends; and as Laloulu entered the store, he saw the victim, who is a taxi driver and was about to pay for his shopping to the cashier.

An eyewitness who was inside the store when the incident took place told police that Laloulu asked the victim why it has taken so long for him to pay back the money owed to him. The victim responded saying that this was not the right place to discuss this matter. After paying for his shopping, the victim grabbed his stuff and started to walk outside.

The government claims that it was during that time that Laloulu grabbed the victim’s shoulder and allegedly punched him in the face, causing him to fall down.

Police arrived a few moments later and placed the defendant into a police unit before transporting him to the Leone Police Substation for questioning. He was then booked and confined at TCF.