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Unable to file additional charges gov’t ordered to release man charged with misdemeanors

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man taken into police custody last week for allegedly using a sharp object to stab another man has been released by the court on his own recognizance, after the government was unable to file additional charges against him.

According to court information, James Polima was charged with public peace disturbance and third degree assault, both misdemeanors.

He made his initial appearance earlier this month in District Court.

Polima was held without bail, to await the government's filing of additional charges last week, as police were still investigating the case.

He appeared in court last week for another hearing, where the government’s attorney informed the court that no additional charges would be filed.

With that said, the court released Polima on his own recognizance and his next court date is Nov 24th.

Among the conditions of release is that Polima not make any direct or indirect contact with the alleged stabbing victim, and he is to remain law-abiding.

To ensure that the court’s message is clear, Polima was informed as to what no contact with the victim means. He is prohibited from going to the victim’s home, and using social media including Facebook and other modern technology to contact the victim. And when Polima sees the victim in public, “It’s your responsibility to leave” and stay away from the victim.

According to court information, the incident took place in Tafuna. Witnesses told police that Polima allegedly used a broken piece of glass to stab the victim’s head.

The victim was rushed to the hospital. While the motive for the alleged stabbing remains unclear, witnesses told police the incident occurred during a drinking session.