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Man who owed money to LBJ couldn’t renew ID — so now he’s an overstayer

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who appeared in District Court yesterday was instructed by Judge Fiti Sunia that his immigration papers need to be straight the next time he appears in court.

Kalava Sefo, 31, is charged with public peace disturbance and third degree assault for an incident that occurred on Christmas Eve in Aua village.

Police received a call for assistance from the 59-year-old victim, who claimed to have been assaulted by Sefo. Upon arrival, cops say an intoxicated man, later identified as Sefo, walked over and turned himself in.

Sefo was transported to the police station for questioning.

When cops interviewed the victim, they learned that Sefo was very drunk and the victim was trying to convince him to go home but he refused. That's when Sefo allegedly punched and kicked the victim multiple times before bystanders intervened and stopped him.

Officers observed several minor wounds on the victim, who refused medical assistance.

In court last Thursday, Judge Sunia asked about Sefo's immigration status. The court was informed that Sefo's ID expired May 9, 2018

His sponsor was not in court.

Judge Fiti Sunia wanted to know the status of Sefo's ID renewal, if any, to which he was told that Sefo could not get his ID renewed because he owes money to the LBJ Hospital.

Sefo was then released to the custody of the Immigration Office and his pretrial conference is set for Jan. 30, 2019.

Conditions of his release include making no contact with the victim, and remaining sober. He is subject to random testing.

"By pretrial conference, you better either have an ID or proof that there is a renewal in process," Sunia told Sefo. "Don't come back and tell me you owe money" and that's why you can't get your papers renewed.