Guam – What began as a dispute over burning green waste escalated to an alleged push that led to the death of a 56-year-old Sinajana man last night.
Neighbors and Mayor Robert Hofmann identify the deceased as John Chargualaf.
“He was a good neighbor helpful, helps my husband helps me,” neighbor Irene Taitano told PNC.
Taitano was not home at the time of the incident but says Chargualaf and the man accused of pushing him, her next door neighbor Ryan Taitano, had a history of not getting along and most of their disputes centered around burning waste.
“My husband sometimes was there to witness whats going on,” Irene Taitano said. “Didn’t know it…would end like this.”
According to a news release sent by the Guam Police Department last night, the dispute began after the neighbor, identified by neighbors as Ryan Taitano, called the Guam Fire Department to report that Chargualaf was burning. That’s when Chargualaf is said to have started throwing rocks at his neighbor. At some point Chargulaf crossed the street approaching the other man’s home when police say he was pushed, causing a head injury. Chargualaf was transported to Naval Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3am this morning.
Medical Examiner Dr. Aurielio Espinola told PNC today that Chargualaf died of a skull fracture with a brain contusion.
“It’s a tragedy,” Mayor Hofmann said. “There’s not one single person to blame.”
According to Mayor Hoffmann, Chargualaf had permission to burn in designated areas as did other neighbors but for some reason his office only heard complaints when Chargualaf was burning.
“If four out of the five are doing the same thing but you’re only complaining about the one it really called into question you know is there a problem with the person,” Hofmann said. “There might have been underlying issues.”
Irene Taitano and her family, who claim they don’t know whether they are related to Ryan Taitano, say it’s hard to believe that Chargualaf would throw rocks or show other signs of violence.
“He’s not a violent person it takes a lot out of him to be violent,” Irene’s daughter Lauren Taitano said. “This was probably the last straw.”
Chargualaf leaves behind a wife, who neighbors and Hofmann say requires constant care due to a disability.
Criminal Investigations Detectives were on the scene this morning, but no arrest has been announced by GPD at this time.
READ the 10:43pm Tuesday statement from Officer Balajadia below:
Around 6:30pm officers responded to a disturbance on Etton Lane in Sinajana between to neighbors which resulted in one of the neighbors being injured.
The disturbance reportedly was the result of the victim illegally burning and the neighbor calling the Guam Fire Department to report it.
The victim became upset and starting throwing rocks at the neighbor . The victim reportedly approached the neighbor by entering his property. The neighbor attempted to push the victim back which caused the victim to fall.
The victim, a 56yrs, male, Chamorro was transported to Naval Hospital as a result of a head injury.
This case is currently under investigation.
READ the 8:31am Wednesday statement from Officer Balajadia below:
The 56-yrs involved in the disturbance on Etton Lane in Sinajana last night over unauthorized burning died from his injuries this morning at around 3:00am, Naval Hospital. Cast under investigation by detectives with Criminal investigations.