Man accused of child abuse arrested for allegedly assaulting neighbor who called the cops
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 46-year-old father of six accused of abusing his 11-year-old son before he turned around and allegedly assaulted his neighbor who reported the child abuse incident to police is now also facing drug charges.
During his arrest, police discovered illegal drugs in the defendant’s possession. Moreover, it was discovered during the arrest that there was an active warrant of arrest against the defendant for his role in a burglary and stealing case one year ago when a group of men allegedly broke into a house in Ottoville area and stole several items plus $980 cash.
According to government documents, the child abuse incident allegedly happened on June 26, 2021 while the alleged assault on the man who reported the abuse happened on July 24, 2021, four weeks after the alleged abuse incident occurred.
(Samoa News has chosen to not identify any of the individuals involved in the incident in order to protect the privacy of the victims.)
The defendant was served with a copy of the arrest warrant when he appeared in Court for assaulting his neighbor. It was during his initial court appearance that the government’s attorney informed the court that they have filed three separate cases against the defendant.
In the first case, the father is charged with one count of child abuse and one count of 2nd degree assault, both class D felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both; along with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of 2nd degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both; along with one count of trespass, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
In the third case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment terms from 5-10 years, a $20,000 fine or both.
Bail is set at $30,000.
If he posts bond, the defendant is ordered not to set foot at his home in Tafuna where his wife and children reside, but to find another place to stay while this case is still pending in court. Furthermore, the defendant is ordered to make all of his court appearances, stay in close contact with his attorney, and remain law abiding.
CHILD ABUSE CASE
On June 26, 2021, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a 38-year-old man asking for assistance regarding an 11-year-old being assaulted and abused by his biological father. The man further stated to police that this is not the first time this man allegedly assaulted his children.
Several police officers responded to the call and interviewed the individual who reported the case, before they went to interview the father of the11-year-old.
The man told police that the 11-year-old boy and his family lived next to his house. Two days prior to the time where he requested police assistance, he heard the young boy screaming for help while his father (defendant) was beating him up using a long tree branch.
Two days after the alleged beating, the man saw scratches and swellings on the young boy’s body while the boy was playing with his grandchildren in front of the house. He questioned the boy about the scratches and bruises on his body and the boy told him that it was from the time when his father beat him up two days ago for disobeying his instructions.
After interviewing the victim, the man immediately contacted police to report the incident because this is not the first time he witnessed bruises on this young boy’s body, including his siblings.
Police picked up the victim’s father (defendant) for questioning regarding the incident two days later and transported him to the TPS. During the interview, investigators informed the father that he was not under arrest and he could leave at any time he wanted. The father looked nervous and made contradicting statements to investigators about the allegation of abuse — first denying it and then confirming it — that he beat up his son using a belt causing bruises all over his body including his back and hands.
After the interview, the father was released to go home awaiting the report from the LBJ Hospital regarding the injuries the victim sustained from the alleged beating. The father was advised that police would pick him up again if they needed additional information regarding the matter.
The officers continued on with their investigation regarding this matter and they advised the father to keep the peace at his residence.
ASSAULT CASE AGAINST THE 38-YEAR-OLD MAN
The government claims that on evening of July 24th, 2021 around 6p.m, the TPS received a call from a woman in the Tafuna area asking for police assistance after her husband was allegedly assaulted by a man who lived next to his house. The man who allegedly assaulted the neighbor was later identified as the father of the young victim, who was released by police after being interviewed regarding the alleged beating of his son.
Officers arrived at the caller’s house and witnessed a man sitting in his house crying while surrounded by his wife and two young children.
Officers also observed that the man’s face was swollen and had scratches. Blood was also seen coming from the victim’s nose and above his left eye from a 2 inch cut.
The victim told officers that he was assaulted by the defendant. Officers tried to locate the defendant on that day but were unsuccessful.
According to the victim’s statement to officers, he was working on his garden at the back of his house and was alarmed when the suspect walked over to him very angry and questioned him about the reason why he reported to police the incident where he had beaten his son for disobeying his instructions.
The defendant was loud and told the man he has no business interfering with his family matters.
While the man was trying to explain his side of the story, the defendant assaulted him by pushing his head down, choking him and then punching him in the left eye.
As the victim was trying his best to push the defendant away from him, the defendant grabbed the victim’s head and smashed it against a tree multiple times before he choked his neck, at the same he kept asking him why he reported the incident about his son to the police.
The government stated that while the defendant was assaulting the victim, the victim was calling out for help and begged the defendant to forgive him for what he had done. The defendant told the victim, “You see what I’m going to do to you, your wife and your whole family.”
Around 6:45 p.m on the same date, July 24th, 2021, police visited the defendant’s house again and found him home, drinking beer with another man. The defendant was apprehended and transported to the TPS for questioning.
Before he was transported to the TPS, the defendant was patted down and during the body search police discovered a black pouch inside his right pocket. Inside the black pouch, police discovered two small baggies containing white crystalline substance, and another small baggie containing green leafy substance.
After police Mirandized him, the defendant told investigators that he understood his rights and was willing to make a statement about what happened.
When asked about the illegal drugs allegedly found in his possession, the defendant admitted that the drugs belonged to him. He said he bought the drugs from a man who walks about the village selling illegal drugs.
When asked about the alleged beating of his neighbor, the defendant admitted that he assaulted the man out of anger after he reported to police that he had assaulted his son. The defendant told police that he did not appreciate the victim’s action and it’s none of his business to put his nose into his family’s affairs.
It’s not clear at this time whether the government is going to charge the defendant for his role in the burglary and stealing case one year ago where several men including two juveniles broke into a home in the Tafuna area and stole several items including cash. The government stated that they need more information regarding the defendant’s involvement in this case.