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Woman calls cops over dispute between taxi drivers — one of them her husband

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 46-year-old taxi driver from Iliili who is accused of assaulting a fellow taxi driver was arrested by police last week.

Onesemo Avia made his initial appearance in District Court last week where he entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him. He is charged with 3rd degree assault, 2nd degree property damage, and public peace disturbance.

The defendant was released by the court on his own recognizance subject to certain conditions – including remaining law abiding, making all of his court appearances, and no direct or indirect contact with the victim.

The government claims that it was around 6:12p.m last week Tuesday when a woman from Happy Valley contacted police for assistance, regarding her husband, who was being assaulted by another man. Several police officers responded to the call.

The caller, who was later identified as the victim's wife, told police that her husband was assaulted by his male friend, “Semo”, later identified as Onesemo, the defendant in this matter.

The wife told police that her husband was in their vehicle — parked in front of a store in Tafuna — while she was inside shopping. She said she came out and noticed her husband standing outside of their vehicle with several people surrounding him, and he was bleeding from his mouth and nose.

Asking her husband what happened, he refused to tell her. It was another woman who was standing with her husband who told her that it was the defendant who assaulted her husband.

An eyewitness told police he did not understand how the fight escalated. All he saw was, after a brief verbal argument, the defendant allegedly threw multiple punches at the victim’s face.

The victim refused to explain to police what happened. He said he did not want to press charges against the defendant because he’s his best friend. However, the victim’s wife told police she wants her husband’s friend to be charged.

The victim’s wife further stated to police that this is not the first time Onesemo had done this to her husband. She recalled another incident that happened in front of their house in Happy Valley last year where Onesome choked her husband after a brief confrontation.