Police who arrest man for allegedly assaulting neighbor, also find drugs
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who is on probation for a drug conviction from three years ago was arrested two weeks ago on the allegation that he assaulted his neighbor by hitting him on the head with a rock. When the defendant was arrested, police discovered drugs on his person and inside his vehicle.
Siaosi Vaifou, a.k.a George Vai appeared in court last week for his initial appearance where he informed the court that he opted for a preliminary examination (PX).
Vaifou is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine; one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishably by imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with trespass and property damage in the 3rd degree; both class A misdemeanors, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both; and 2nd degree assault, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Bail is set at $10,000.
On May 9th, 2020, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a woman in Tafeta asking for help after her husband was assaulted by their neighbor. The neighbor was later identified as Siaosi Vaifou, the defendant in this case.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the victim’s wife who immediately informed police that the defendant had just fled the scene in his vehicle after he saw police units approaching their home.
Police interviewed the victim and his wife regarding the alleged incident. According to the wife’s statement, she was inside the house that afternoon with her three young children when she heard a vehicle pull over in front of their house. She later noticed that it was Vaifou’s vehicle. Vaifou lives two houses away from the victim’s house.
According to the victim’s wife’s statement, she heard Vaifou calling out her husband’s name. She didn’t think that was anything unusual. However, she was shocked when she saw her husband running back into their house holding his bloody head.
The victim’s wife said that she quickly walked outside of their house, and saw Vaifou standing there holding a rock in his right hand. When Vaifou saw her, he turned and threw the rock at the front door of their house leaving a hole in the middle of the door. Photos of the damaged door were taken for evidence.
The wife said she then called police and EMS for assistance before she went over and assisted her husband with his injuries while her three little children were just standing beside their father (the victim) crying.
The victim was transported by EMS to the hospital for treatment and was later discharged. He went straight to TPS for an interview.
The victim confirmed to police that it was Vaifou, a neighbor and a man considered as one of his many friends who assaulted him by hitting his head with a rock.
According to the victim’s statement to police, he, along with the defendant and two other friends attended a party the night before the alleged incident. So, he was shocked when the defendant came to his house the next morning and assaulted him without saying anything.
He said he went outside when Vaifou called out his name and saw Vaifou standing in front of his vehicle, which was parked in front of his house. As he approached Vaifou, he was stunned when Vaifou grabbed his neck with his left hand and allegedly hit his head with a rock causing him to fall to the ground.
Scared for his life, he quickly stood up and ran back inside his house while calling out for his wife.
Four hours later, police spotted Vaifou’s vehicle parked in front of a store in Mesepa and approached him regarding the alleged incident. Vaifou at first refused to comply with police instructions, but finally agreed to go with police to the TPS for an interview.
Before Vaifou was transported to the TPS, he was patted down, where upon police discovered a medium baggie inside Vaifou’s rear pocket containing two hand rolled marijuana joints.
An inventory search was conducted for the vehicle in the presence of Vaifou. During the search, police found a black pouch under the driver’s seat containing two small stamp-sized baggies containing white crystalline substance.
First, Vaifou refused to speak to investigators regarding the drugs found in his possession and inside his vehicle, but after being read his constitutional rights, he informed investigators that he fully understands his rights and he would like to make a statement.
In his verbal statement to investigators, Vaifou apologized for what happened to the victim and immediately admitted to his action. He told investigators that the drugs did belong to him. He said he went to Le Aute two days prior to the incident and bought drugs for $50.
When asked about the alleged assault, Vaifou admitted that he hit the victim’s head with a rock. He said he was really mad when he heard the victim had spread false rumors about him.
When asked about the rumors, Vaifou said, the victim told their friends that it was he (Vaifou) who broke into the victim’s house and stole several items.
During the PX, defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Bob Stuart asked the government to describe to the court how police stopped his client’s vehicle. He wanted to know if there was a traffic violation when his client’s vehicle was pulled over.
The government’s explained that Vaifou’s vehicle was spotted parked in front of an Asian store in Mesepa. That’s when police approached Vaifou and asked him to come with police to the TPS to discuss a matter in which he was allegedly involved.
The government’s witness further stated to the court that according to the defendant’s statement, he planned to assault the victim for spreading untruthful rumors about him.
Vaifou is on 5 years probation after being convicted in 2017 for unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Vaifou’s conviction stems from an incident where he was arrested for disturbing the public peace in Tafuna and police found drugs in his possession.