Former Manu Samoa player charged over assault of off duty Police Officers in Pago


Former Manu Samoa player Anetere’a Tuilagi also known as Andy is one of the five men arrested in American Samoa last week for the alleged assault of off-duty Police Officers. 

Co-defendants are Faamanu Malivao, Sai Laasaga, Tony Toma, Filipo Atonio. All five defendants are charged with misdemeanour counts of third-degree assault and public peace disturbance.

According to court information, one of the defendants, Anitele’a Tuilagi, had approached Officer Vegas Pearson outside the Bowling Alley and asked if he was a cop. When Pearson said yes, Tuilagi asked, “You want to be a tough guy?”

The off-duty officer replied, “It’s up to you.”

According to Pearson, four other men surrounded him and a friend, at which point his friend pulled him to go back inside. Pearson said after leaving the Bowling Alley, he and another off-duty Officer, Seugalupe Leone, went to get food at Mcdonald’s, and the same guys he saw in the Bowling Alley parking lot aggressively approached them.

He said they were pinned between two cars, and the defendants started assaulting them. They tried to defend themselves because they were outnumbered. Officer Leone gave the same account of what happened and said bystanders could pull away their attackers just as one was about to throw rocks at them.

The defendants were picked up at the Silva Compound at the Industrial Park several hours later, and, according to police, they smelled of alcohol.

According to police, one of the defendants said that Tuilagi was the one who insisted they go to McDonald’s to deal with the cops.

The bail for each defendant is set at $500.