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Man who was allegedly drunk, “bothered” a female on aiga bus

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man was arrested by police after a woman who was riding on the same bus with this man requested police assistance, claiming that the man allegedly touched her legs and stomach in a sexual manner.

Mark Tagaloa, 34, made his initial appearance in court last week where the court set his bail in the amount of $1,000.

Tagaloa is charged with 3rd degree assault and public peace disturbance, both class A misdemeanors.

Pretrial conference is scheduled for July. 27, 2020.

The government claims that on Monday, June 22, 2020, around 11:23 a.m, a young woman called the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) reporting an alleged incident involving the defendant.

The woman stated to police when she was interviewed that she was on the bus from Leone to her workplace in Nuuuli when a man got on the bus and sat next to her. She could see that the suspect was staring at her intently for a long time. The suspect kept putting his leg next to the victim’s leg, so they were touching.

Every time the victim moved her leg, the defendant deliberately moved his leg just to touch the victim’s right leg.

The victim also stated that the defendant’s upper body (left shoulder) was on her right arm whereas she felt trapped and at the same time scared. At some point, the defendant put his left hand between his legs for about ten seconds, before he put his hand on her leg and allegedly rubbed it for few seconds.

The victim stated that she adjusted herself again to move closer to the window and also moved her right leg more towards the left, however, the defendant again moved his left leg closer, crushing the victim’s right leg. The defendant then tried to touch the victim’s stomach but the victim moved herself closer to the window. The defendant also grabbed the victim’s right hand and tried to kiss it but the victim yanked her hand away from him.

It was at that time the victim stood up and moved to the front of the bus until the bus stopped at her work place.

Immediately after the victim arrived at her work place, she called police regarding the alleged incident and the defendant was later arrested while still riding the bus on his way to the Fagatogo market.

When the defendant was apprehended, police smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. The defendant refused to make a statement to the police.