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Man threatened with the machete after coconut trees cut down


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On May 4, 2024, at about 1:25 pm, a male individual from Aasu contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to report an incident in which his neighbor identified as Faafetai Talia allegedly damaged his front door with a machete.

The defendant was charged with the following:

Count 1: Private Peace Disturbance — a class C misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) days, a fine of $300, or both;

Count 2: Assault in the Third Degree — a class C misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen (15) days, a fine of $300, or both; and,

Count 3: Property Damage in the Third Degree (DV) - a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to six (6) months, a fine of $500, or both.

Bail for the defendant was set at $1000.

Upon arrival at the scene, police officers spoke with the victim who also had reported the incident.

In his statement, the victim said that “he was at his house together with his sister and her husband who came from the states, [and] surprisingly Faafetai Talia (suspect) came in front of his house and confronted him about the coconut trees which were cut down near their house, which marked the boundary of their land.”

The victim stated that he was trying to explain that it was not he who cut the coconut trees down, however the suspect became angry and threatened to “cut him with the machete” in his hand. As Talia left the victim’s home, the victim explained that it was then that he decided to contact the TPS for assistance because he was afraid for their safety — he and his family.

The victim’s sister also provided her statement in which she stated that “they were in the house when all of a sudden Talia came to the front door and confronted her brother [asking] if he’s the one who cut down the coconut trees near their land boundary.” She further said that her brother was trying to calm the suspect while trying to make sense of what the suspect was claiming. However, the suspect “was so angry that he threatened to cut the victim with the machete” he was holding.

The victim and his sister pointed out the suspect’s home and as police officers approached it they met with one of Talia’s family members who directed them towards the suspect.

The suspect was apprehended and transported to the TPS for further investigation.

At the TPS, the suspect was Mirandized and agreed to provide a statement.

The defendant stated “he got so angry because his coconut trees which marked the boundary of their land were cut down.” He further explained that the coconut trees were there for a long time, which was what angered him the most. He also said he approached the victim at his house, damaged the screen door wire and then threatened to cut him with the machete he was holding.

The defendant was booked and confined at the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) to await his initial court appearance.

The defendant is identified as a 57-year-old U.S. National.