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Repeat offender: Victim’s sister says family “really scared” — he snaps

American Samoa District Court building
Once again he is released to custody of Behavioral Health Center

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was recently before the District Court for a case that was ultimately dismissed per a motion from the government, is back in court — again.

Tanielu Tuli made his initial appearance in District Court this past week. When his case was called, attorneys from both sides approached the bench for a discussion with presiding Judge Elvis P. Patea.

Tuli was subsequently released to the custody of the Behavioral Health Center at LBJ Hospital. A status hearing is scheduled for June 11th.

In this new case, Tuli is charged with private peace disturbance and third degree assault.

According to the government's case, is was this past Tuesday that police got a call from a woman, reporting a disturbance and assault in her Pago Pago home.

When police arrived, the woman informed them that the defendant had stabbed her 17-year-old brother in the left shoulder. According to her, Tuli started yelling and cussing at the teenage victim when he found out that the boy had broken his phone a day earlier.

Tuli is alleged to have gotten "upset, grabbed a knife, and stabbed" the victim while his family members looked on. The female witness told police that they couldn't do anything because Tuli was "out of control."

She said that after Tuli stabbed the victim, he continued to yell and cuss at the family members, which alarmed the neighborhood.

The woman told police that her family is "really scared" of Tuli because he snaps and when he is out of control, he starts a fight. She pointed out that Tuli has been arrested before for similar offenses but "when he gets released back home, he does it over again."

As officers were talking to some family members, they said Tuli came out, and started yelling profanities. He also said, "I'm gonna kill you!"

Tuli allegedly threatened to kill someone when he "gets out of jail" when he was being escorted by police.

The victim was checked by EMS staff and later admitted to LBJ for further treatment. Meanwhile, Tuli had complained to police that he didn't take his prescribed medication.

Police contacted Tuli's doctor, who told them that he gave Tuli his medicine, and that was all he had, until the his new prescription arrives from off island.

Last month, on Flag Day, Tuli was picked up by police near the Fagatogo Marketplace for allegedly assaulting a man. He was charged with public peace disturbance and third degree assault. Tuli was remanded to the LBJ Behavioral Center. This case was dismissed several days ago.