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Rock thrower who claims his tools were stolen is arrested and charged with felony assault

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 39-year-old man from Tafuna accused of using a rock to assault another man during a drinking session has been arrested and charged with second degree assault, a felony, punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both; and two misdemeanor charges, unlawful use of a weapon and public peace disturbance.

The charges against Tominiko Ilalio stem from an incident that occurred last month in Tafuna, where he allegedly used a rock to assault and severely injured another man for allegedly stealing tools and spare parts from his shop during a drinking session at his mechanic shop last month.

According to the police report, Ilalio and the victim got into the disagreement over the allegations during a drinking session outside of Ili’s mechanic shop. The incident escalated to the victim allegedly assaulting Ilalio and in turn Ilalio assaulting the victim by striking the victim’s head with a rock.

The victim ran for help while Ilalio followed him in an attempt to strike him again, however, two bystanders who saw the incident jumped in and stopped Ilalio, and assisted the victim as well as immediately called police for assistance.

Ilalio was apprehended at his girlfriend’s house three days after the incident and was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning, where he admitted using a rock to assault the victim for stealing his tools from his mechanic shop.

He apologized to investigators for breaking the law. He also stated that he’s very sorry for what he did to the victim because the victim is a close friend to him and he considered him as a brother.

Ilalio made his initial appearance in the District Court last month, where he waived his right to a preliminary examination and appeared in High Court last week for arraignment.

Defense attorney, asked the court for a reduction in bail — from $5,000 to $2,000. He told the court that his client is a hard working man, and he is the only member of his family who works to provide for his wife and two children. Defense attorney further stated to the court that his client is not a flight risk; and he has no intention of leaving his family.

The prosecutor opposed the defense’s motion, saying the bail set by the court is the right amount for the offense the defendant is accused of committing.

The defense motion was denied and bail remains at $5,000; and because he is unable to post bond, Ilalio remains in custody at the TCF.