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Man whose wife was allegedly having an affair arrested for assault

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 42-year-old male who has a pending criminal case in District Court was arrested by police last month on the allegation that he assaulted a drunken man who was sleeping in front of a store in the Iliili area and also challenged several people to a fight including a security guard.

When questioned by police after he was arrested, the defendant, Sofeni Mapusaga said that he did these things because he was mad when he found out that his girlfriend for over 5 years was having an affair with a co-employee, and her family was trying very hard to hide this from him and his three young children.

During a body search, police discovered illegal drugs in the defendant’s possession.

The government stated in its case that on Nov. 08, 2021 around 4:17a.m, a security guard at a warehouse in the Tafuna area called the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for assistance regarding a male who had passed out near the outside gates at a store in Tafuna and was now shouting profanities. He was also threatening the security guard and challenged him to a fight saying that he would knock him down and kill him. The male was later identified as Sofeni Mapusaga, the defendant in this matter.

Several police officers responded to the call and were told by the security guard that the defendant had walked toward the Tafuna-Fagaima road heading towards the Iliili road.

Officers were not able to locate the defendant in the Tafuna-Iliili area, even when several police units were called in to patrol the area for over an hour.

Officers returned to the area where the security guard was located and noticed two men walking on the road in the same area and they asked them if they had seen any male running on the road. The two men told officers that there was a man wearing a red shirt who met them on the road and asked them for money to buy cigarettes.

One man told the male individual that he only had $5 for bus fare but the man got angry and demanded the man give him the $5 or he would smash his head with the empty beer bottle he was holding. Out of fear and their safety, the man gave him the money, and the man immediately left and continued running, heading to the Iliili road.

Police continued their search and they discovered a man sitting in front of the Iakina SDA compound in the Iliili area — his face was covered in blood. He explained to police officers that he was sleeping in front of a store next to the SDA compound when a man wearing a red shirt grabbed him by his collar to wake him up, and then asked him for money, cigarettes or drugs. He told the man that he didn’t have any money.

That’s when the man punched him in the face twice knocking him down and he hit his head on the concrete floor and was unconscious for a moment before he woke up and discovered that the man had stolen his wallet containing $32 and his cell phone.

Another witness told investigators that the same man walked into the front gate of a warehouse compound after seeing a security guard standing inside. He told the guard to come outside and fight him, and also threw an empty beer bottle inside the compound.

A few moments later, the security guard walked over and tried to pull the defendant away from the gate and tried to calm him down, telling him to go home and get some rest. The defendant then walked back towards the Tafuna area. The security guard confirmed to police that the defendant was wearing a red shirt and black shorts.

The security guard said he did not see the man sleeping in front of the store being assaulted, he only saw the defendant making his way to the front gate and threatening him.

However, the two men who had been walking on the road, told police that they not only witnessed the time the defendant assaulted a man at the bus stop —describing the incident — they also saw the incident at the warehouse compound. They said he was the same man that then ran in their direction, threatened them, and allegedly robbed them before he continued running on the Iliili road.

Officers were able to review video footage from the warehouse security camera and got a clear view of the assault that happened at the store.

One month later, the security guard spotted the defendant riding in the back of a black pickup truck traveling on the Tafuna public highway and immediately alerted the TPS.

Police officers pulled over the truck in front of the ASPA headquarters in the Tafuna area and arrested the defendant and transported him to the TPS for further investigation.

Before the defendant was transported to the TPS, he was patted down, where upon police found two glass pipes containing a white crystalline substance in his right pocket.

When asked about the incident that happened in November, the defendant admitted to his actions and immediately apologized to police for breaking the law. He told officers that he was pissed off after he found out that night that the mother of his children was having an affair with her co-worker and her whole family including her parents tried to hide it from him and his young children.

Mapusaga further told police that the drugs found in his possession were from a man in Taputimu. He said that ever since he found out what had happened to his marriage, he decided to move out and stay with a friend in Nu’uuli.

Mapusaga made his initial appearance in court last month.

He is charged with one count of robbery in the 2nd-degree; one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of 2nd-degree assault; one count of stealing; all felonies, along with four misdemeanors charges.

Bail is set at $25,000.