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Man who evaded cops for over two years finally in custody

Territorial Correctional Facility TCF

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 35-year-old man accused of assaulting his 59-year-old uncle with a knife over two years ago is now in custody after he was arrested last month.

Feagaiga Faalemiga was arrested during a traffic stop for driving a vehicle with an expired license plate tag last month. During his arrest, police discovered drugs inside his vehicle and also in his possession.

It’s not known at this time why the government waited so long to file their case against Faalemiti


The government alleges that it was Nov. 07, 2019 around 6:24p.m when the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call requesting police assistance after a man had allegedly been assaulted by a man with a knife at a family compound in the Tafuna area. The caller stated to police that the man who committed the alleged crime was walking on the road with a knife in one hand and metal pipe in in the other, while the injured man was still in the house.

Furthermore, the caller also revealed to police that the man with the knife is the same man allegedly selling drugs in their neighborhood.

 Police officers responded to the call and met up with several witnesses who briefed them regarding the alleged incident. EMS personnel were also notified and the victim was transported to the LBJ Medical Hospital for treatment.

The victim was discharged after spending two days at the LBJ and was staying with a friend in Pago Pago. The move was to separate the victim and the defendant.

Officers interviewed the victim at the home of a family member and observed injuries on the victim’s face, and left and right hands.

According to the victim’s statement to police, he was preparing food for his family dinner when his front door suddenly burst open and his nephew, Feagaiga Faalemiga, the defendant in this case, stormed into the house with a knife in his hand and demanded to know why he (victim) scolded his young sister in church.

The victim tried to calm the defendant down and explained the reason why he (victim) scolded the defendant’s sister — that his sister was the only female mentioned in a drinking session where young men from the church were involved two days ago. However, as the two exchanged words, the victim was shocked when his nephew (defendant) stabbed his right hand with a knife.

The victim tried to defend himself and at the same time tried to stop his nephew from coming at him with the knife, however, his nephew (defendant) was too strong and continued to stab him several time on his back, his shoulder and also his leg. The defendant was also holding a metal pipe in his left hand, and swung it at him, causing further injuries to his hands and his face. His hand injuries were defensive wounds.

The victim stated that the defendant then left the scene while he (the victim) was still lying on the floor inside the house injured. The victim did not wish to file a criminal complaint against his nephew, saying that the defendant is his brother’s youngest son, and he doesn’t want him to suffer because he loves him as much as he loves his brother (defendant’s father).

Officers went to the defendant’s residence to arrest him but did not find him at home. Police then talked to the defendant’s neighbor regarding the incident. According to the neighbor, it was after the defendant assaulted his uncle that he ran back to his house to look for his wife who witnessed the alleged assault.

The neighbor further stated to police that while the defendant was looking for his wife, the 30-year-old wife was hiding in the neighbor’s house. The wife further asked the neighbor to help her because the defendant was going to hurt her with the knife.

The neighbor was afraid for her safety and instructed the wife to run towards the main road. The neighbor saw the wife fleeing from her house carrying her 2-year old daughter and running towards the trees leading toward the main road. A few moments later, the neighbor saw the defendant running in the same direction carrying a knife in his hand.

Several police officers were called for backup and they searched for the defendant. The defendant was nowhere to be found. Police then instructed neighbors to notify DPS as soon as they observed the defendant in the area.

Police located the wife and brought her in for questioning. The wife told police that two days prior to the incident, she was informed by church members that her sister-in-law who lives with them was involved in a drinking session with men, so, she tried to hide the incident from her husband (defendant) because she knew that her sister-in-law (defendant’s sister) would be in trouble if her husband found out about the drinking session.

The wife also stated to investigators that this is the second incident of a drinking session her sister-in-law has reportedly been involved with, along with young men of the village and church.

And while she was speaking to another church member on the phone, her husband (defendant) entered the room and found out the subject they were discussing in the telephone conversation. The wife smelled a strong odor of alcohol from her husband.

The telephone conversation between the defendant’s wife and the other church member was cut short when the defendant entered the room and that’s when the verbal argument between the couple started. At this time, her daughter had fallen asleep. The defendant asked his wife for the reason why she tried to hide the incident from him. The wife lied and pretended like she was trying to get advice from the Reverend’s wife on what she must do.

The defendant then became angry with her and accused her of lying to him and to the church. The defendant allegedly was drunk and he started to act violently towards his wife.

The victim was very afraid and started crying at the same time telling her husband (defendant) she was not trying to hide the incident regarding his sister, however, the defendant continued accusing her of being a bad mother and wife, who allegedly encouraged his sister to go out with men for money.

According to the wife, her husband was very angry, and allegedly beat her, punching her on her back and using a bamboo stick to hit her on the side of her thigh. He also slapped and punched her in her face. She then saw the defendant grab a knife and threaten her, telling her to wait in the house and not go anywhere, and that he was going to beat his uncle with the machete because he (uncle) is the other person who also tried to hide the incident from him.

When the wife saw that the defendant had gone to the uncle’s house, she immediately took her daughter and ran to her neighbor’s house and asked for help.  She then left her neighbor’s house and ran towards the trees that led to a family-members’ residence and stayed there until a friend came and picked her up.

The wife further told investigators that this is not the first time her husband accused her of hiding things his sister did from him.


On Dec. 26, 2021, two officers were patrolling the Iliili public highway when they observed a black truck pick-up traveling on the road with an expired license tag. Officers pulled over the vehicle and immediately approached the driver and explained to him the reason for the stop. There was only male inside the vehicle, who was driver. He was later identified as Feagaiga Faalemiga, the defendant in this matter.

Faalemiga agreed with police that his license tag was expired and he forgot to renew it last month.

When asked for his driver’s license, Faalemiga replied he forgot his license at home. Faalemiga presented no other form of photo identification to officers. His vehicle was then impounded and Faalemiga was transported to the TPS for further investigation.

Before he was transported to the TPS, he was patted down and during the body search, officers discovered a glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance in his pocket.

Officers also conducted an inventory search of the vehicle in the presence of the defendant. During the search, officers discovered two small stamp sized baggies containing green leafy substance under the driver’s seat.

After he was Mirandized, the defendant stated that he understood his rights and refused to make a statement.

Faalemiga made his initial appearance in court last month.

He is charged with one count of 1st-degree assault, a class A felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years and not more than 30 years; along with one count of 3rd degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

He’s also being charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of marijuana, both felonies.

Faalemiga is being held in custody without bail.