Ottoville house party ends badly after a partygoer is assaulted
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 40-year-old man accused of assaulting another man in Tafuna by striking the victim’s head with a metal pipe made his initial appearance in District Court last week. Asolelei Tagaloa is charged with one count of second degree assault, a class D felony.
Bond is set at $10,000 and the preliminary hearing is Friday, Jan. 10th.
Defense attorney Bob Stuart asked the court to reduce his client’s bond to $5,000, saying Tagaloa is not a flight risk and has no criminal record. Prosecutor Laura Garvey opposed the motion, saying Tagaloa is a citizen of Samoa and he’s on island visiting his family; therefore, he is a flight risk who must be kept in prison until his case is resolved.
The court agreed and denied the motion.
Around 12:12a.m on Nov. 29th, police got a call about a man being transported to the LBJ, following an assault in Ottoville. The victim, 37, is a husband and father of 3 from Tafeta.
The government’s main witness, a male, and several family members were engaged in a drinking session at an Ottoville home the day before. Later in the evening, another family member stopped by, together with Tagaloa.
At a little past midnight, the homeowner got into a verbal argument with the victim, who allegedly accused the homeowner of hiding beer in his vehicle. Jokingly, the homeowner said it was Tagaloa who stole the beer and hid it in his backpack. That’s when Tagaloa exited the house.
According to the witness, when Tagaloa re-entered the home, he was holding a metal pipe, which he used to strike the victim on the back and the head.
During an interview with police, Tagaloa confirmed that his friend invited him to a party in Ottoville. He said he knows the victim, because he has always helped him since he arrived in the territory. He said everything was good at the party but he felt embarrassed when the victim made fun of him, telling everyone he stole the beer and hid it in his backpack.
Tagaloa said when he walked out to the parking lot, he heard the victim say he drank all the beer and ate all the food at the party. He said he was mortified and angry at the same time, and he wanted to do something to the victim.
Tagaloa said he saw a metal pipe in the back of a truck parked in front the house. He grabbed the pipe, went back to the house, and struck the victim on his back before he hit him on the head, causing the victim to fall off the chair. Tagaloa said the victim was groaning and blood was dripping from his head. And on his way out, he was punched in the face by one of the victim’s relatives.