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Police searching for men charged with brutal assault at Fagaima


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  Three men have been charged with two counts of assault in the second and third degree. 

On April 6, 2023, a man was brutally assaulted by multiple individuals in front of a store. Only three men were identified — Anthony Lalopau, Rasheed Salanoa and Palemia Salanoa — but there were others involved. 

The three men were particularly brutal — with Rasheed and Palemia punching and kicking the victim in the face numerous times causing a broken jaw to the victim; and then while the victim was on the ground unconscious, Lalopau grabbed a brick that was in front of the store and threw it at the victim’s head, causing a three-inch open wound on top of the victim’s head and afterwards he threw a rock, and punched the victim in the neck. 

Luckily there were people who saw the victim was helpless and called the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS). 

The victim was then rushed to Fagaalu ER where his condition was diagnosed by a doctor as needing off-island care due to the nature of his injuries. 

Officers that were on the case interviewed the victim at LBJ Hospital and according to his statements, “He did not know where these guys came from and why they assaulted him.”

The victim states “he was just hanging around the store” when a group of male individuals jumped him, “so he was trying to escape but one individual, later identified as Lalopau, came from his right with a brick in his hand,” which was thrown at him, causing him to become unconscious and fall to the ground. 

According to the affidavit, an ER doctor said the victim was brought in with a major open wound on top of his head and a dislocated jaw. 

Footage recovered from the Laundromat/ store in Fagaima of what happened at the scene identified Anthony Lalopau, Rasheed Salanoa, and Palemia Salanoa, but there were other individuals involved, however they were unable to identify them due to the poor quality of the video footage. 

Officers are still investigating and trying to identify other suspects and they’ve also recovered the brick that Lalopau allegedly used against the victim at the scene.

DPS followed up with Lalopau’s family who stated that after the incident, Lalopau never showed up at their house, and two members of his family confirmed to police that it was Lalopau on the video footage throwing the brick at the victim’s head. 

According to police, a family member of the victim was told by the victim’s doctor that the victim’s condition is critical and they are working to refer him off-island. 

As of now, the victim is unable to move his left leg due to the head injury.

All three are still at large and DPS is still searching for them.