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Man who allegedly assaulted his sister’s ex-husband, also found with drugs

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 40-year-old man from Samoa was arrested last month on the allegation that he stabbed a man with a kitchen knife. Then when he was being taken into custody, illegal drugs were found in his possession.

According to the government’s case, it was around 5:37 p.m on May 29th, 2020 when police at the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a 17-year-old female, saying that her uncle had been assaulted and was being taken to the LBJ Hospital by an ambulance for treatment.

The caller further told police that her uncle sustained a big laceration on his back and shoulder, and he needed immediate medical attention.

Several police officers responded to the call and investigators interviewed the victim’s niece, who informed them that her uncle (victim) was allegedly assaulted by a man from Samoa, who is residing at their neighbor’s house. The niece said that her uncle was assaulted by the suspect outside of the suspect’s house.

Investigators learned that the victim’s ex-wife is the sister of the suspect in this matter, and the victim was allegedly assaulted while he was speaking to his ex-wife outside the parking lot of the suspect’s house. The victim’s ex-wife was at her brother’s (suspect) house when she contacted her ex-husband to come over to discuss issues regarding their young children.

Investigators were unable to locate the suspect and a request was made to his family to bring him to the TPS for an interview regarding the alleged incident.

As investigators were looking for an eyewitness, the victim’s niece told investigators that according to her uncle (victim) he was outside of the house with his ex-wife discussing issues regarding their three young children when the alleged assault took place.

Investigators also brought the ex-wife in for an interview.

The ex-wife told investigators that she was not present when her brother (suspect) allegedly stabbed the victim. All she knew was that she and her ex-husband (victim), who is the father of her three young children, were shocked when her brother (suspect) approached them while standing outside of the parking lot and immediately got into a fight with her ex-husband.

According to the witness, she tried hard to stop the fight but it was getting out of hand and that’s when she ran inside the house calling for help and a few moments later, she noticed her ex-husband running to the other side of the parking with blood covering his facial area.

The victim called out to his ex-wife to call police for help because he was hurt and in pain. The ex-wife immediately called 911 for assistance.

The ex-wife further stated to police that she did not see her brother stab the victim as she was inside the house at the time, calling out for help to stop the fight.

The following day after the alleged incident when the victim was discharged from the LBJ Hospital, investigators spoke to him about the incident. According to the victim’s statement, his ex-wife called him to come over to her brother’s house (suspect house) to discuss something regarding their young children when the suspect walked over to them and immediately punched him in the face.

He tried to push the suspect away so that he could get away from him but he was shocked when the suspect pulled out a knife from his pocket and allegedly stabbed him. He turned his body to the side and the knife hit his shoulder. He tried to run away but the suspect allegedly stabbed him again in the back.

According to the victim, after the second stab, he was able to get himself away from the suspect and ran to the front of the house. His ex-wife followed him and told him to come inside, but he asked her to called 911 for help because he was injured and he needed medical attention right away.

The victim further stated to investigators that his ex-wife was present when the suspect attacked him outside in the parking lot.

Investigators arrested the suspect at his home three days after the alleged incident, pursuant to an arrest warrant and transported him to the TPS for questioning. The suspect was searched, as per norm, prior to being transported, and during the body search, investigators found a medium baggie in his left pocket containing methamphetamine. Also found inside his left pocket was a hand rolled marijuana joint.

The suspect told investigators that he had just arrived home when he learned from his son that the victim was talking to his sister outside the house in the parking lot. He felt anger inside his heart because the victim left his sister and her children for another woman. He walked to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and put it inside his pocket.

He then walked outside and approached the victim and punched him in the face. The victim punched him back, so he pulled out the knife from his pocket and stabbed him in the shoulder and the back.

When asked about the illegal drugs found in his possession, the suspect stated that the stuff belonged to him. He refused to reveal more information regarding the illegal drugs to investigators.

The suspect made his initial appearance in court two weeks ago where his bail was set at $10,000. His preliminary examination is now set for Wednesday next week, July 1st at 10:30 a.m.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment between 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both, along with one count of second-degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both, and 3rd degree property damage, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.