Man who didn’t want to go to jail, figures out a way to get there
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who has a pending matter in the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court was arrested last week and charged with criminal contempt, along with violating local drug laws.
According to the government's case, police got a call for assistance on Tuesday night, June 16th in Aua, reporting that Simeti Paea was drunk and disorderly.
A police dispatcher claimed to have heard "people yelling and shouting profane words and children crying" in the background.
Cops who responded to the call say they heard people screaming from several houses down when they approached the area. A search of the suspect was carried out, at his home, which is near the ocean.
An officer shined his flashlight toward the shore and spotted Paea standing at the road, "as if he was getting ready to run away," according to court documents.
A police officer called out to Paea to stay where he was, but Paea allegedly called back to the cop, "No, I don’t want to go to jail.”
Paea fled from the officer and ran to the back of other houses in the same neighborhood. Two men from the area assisted officers in searching for the defendant and found him hiding at the back of an abandoned house a few blocks away. He was immediately placed inside the police unit with his hands cuffed, while cops tried to collect more information regarding the incident.
Several witnesses told officers that Paea was intoxicated and yelling profanities at his family and neighbors.
Another witness who spoke to police stated that Paea came home and started screaming at everyone in the house. The witness said such behavior has become Paea’s habit.
When a family member told Paea to tone it down, Paea turned around and started a verbal argument with the family member. Paea was cussing at her and threatening to kill her if she ever bothered him again.
Before Paea was transported to Tafuna Police Substation, a body search was conducted by officers. During the body search, officers discovered a small baggie containing methamphetamine, and another small baggie containing marijuana inside Paea’s right pocket.
When asked about the drugs, Paea told officers that they belonged to him. He did not offer any further information regarding the illegal drugs.
Paea made his initial appearance in court last week.
He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both, along with one count of contempt of court, a class A misdemeanor.
Bail is set at $5,000.
Preliminary examination was scheduled for Friday.