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Man whose house was burglarized now charged with assault of alleged thieves

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for assistance after his house was burglarized by three young men was arrested on the allegation that he assaulted the three young men that allegedly burglarized his house, and stole his property.

When police arrested him, a glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance was discovered inside his pants pocket.

On Oct. 10, 2022 around 6a.m, a male who identified himself to police as Anthony Solamali’i, the defendant in this case, called TPS and requested police assistance immediately at his house in Fogagogo.

Several police officers responded to the call, and the police unit was waved down by Solamali’i, the defendant in this matter.

As officers were speaking to Solamalii, a woman came forward and introduced herself to officers and said that Solamalii, who is her neighbor, assaulted her two sons while they were at her house. Solamali’i also went to her sister’s house, (which is one block away from her house) and assaulted her sister’s 18-year-old son.

The woman stated that Solamalii came to their house and asked for her two sons by name. She said Solamalii entered her house without permission and allegedly assaulted her 23-year-old son by punching him in the face multiple times causing swelling and bruises on her son’s facial area.

He then turned around and assaulted her other son, who is 19 years old.

After assaulting her two sons, the woman said Solamalii made his way to his sister’s house and assaulted her sister’s son. The woman said she followed Solamalii to her sister’s house and witnessed what he did to her nephew.

Solamalii was immediately placed inside the police unit after officers interviewed the woman regarding what allegedly happened, and was later transported to the TPS for further investigation.

He was patted down for weapons and contraband before he was transported to the TPS. During a body search, officer discovered inside Solamalii’s left pocket a glass pipe containing a white crystalline substance.

Solamalii was interviewed at the TPS where he stated to officers that his house was burglarized in the morning while he was at his friend’s house.

He further stated that a person named Vince told him that the three victims (the three young males he allegedly assaulted) were the ones who burglarized his house.

Officers picked up the person by the name of Vince Taufi from his house and brought him into the TPS for questioning regarding this matter.  Officers observed that Taufi had bruises on his facial area and his left eye was swollen.

Taufi told officers that Solamalii invited him to his (Solamalii) house for a morning gathering. Once he got inside Solamalii’s house, Solamalii questioned him about his house being burglarized a few hours before. As Taufi was trying to explain to Solamalii the whole story, Solamalii immediately punched him in the face. He tried to stand up but Solamalii continued to assault him.

While Solamalii was assaulting Taufi, Taufi shouted that it was him, his younger brother Tony Taufi and his cousin Lemi Sepulona who burglarized his house earlier in the morning and stole his belongings.

Solamalii then dragged him inside his (Solamalii) vehicle and they drove to his home. Once they arrived at his house, Solamalii walked inside uninvited and assaulted his younger brother Tony by punching him in the face multiple times and kicking his back.

Solamalii then drove his vehicle to his aunt’s home and assaulted his cousin Sepulona in the presence of Sepulona’s mother.

Investigation into the burglary at Solamalii’s house revealed that the Taufi brothers and their cousin, Sepulona were involved. All three young men have been charged for their roles in this matter.

Solamalii made his initial appearance in court last week.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, meth, an unclassified felony; one count of burglary in the second degree, a class D felony, along with two counts of 3rd degree assault and private peace disturbance, both misdemeanors.

The burglary charge stems from the time when Solamalii entered into the victim’s house without permission, despite the fact he did not steal any property.

Bail is set at $10,000.

During his initial appearance, Solamalii waived his rights to a preliminary examination and his case is now before the High Court where he entered a not guilty plea to all the charges against him this past week.

Pretrial conference is Dec. 14.