A man who was removed from the Merizo Pier park three times over the past two weeks for violating social distancing rules went back with a bat in hand.
According to the Merizo mayor, the man wanted to scare a group of people away from the park due to social distancing.
Joseph Jesse Matagolai Nanguata was already gone when police showed up to the Merizo pier for a reported disturbance on April 17.
Court documents state that Nanguata had shown up to the pier and exited his vehicle carrying an aluminum bat.
Police say he used the bat to strike a sign, bleachers and a trash can as he aggressively yelled and walked towards a group of people.
The group left and so did Nanguata.
Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao says patrol officers later located Nanguata driving on Route 2 and says he was immediately combative. The encounter was caught on camera by bystanders.
“As officers approached the individual, they noted the bat and were able to gain an advantage point and secure the individual’s hands, which required several officers to help subdue the male individual,” Tapao said.
While in the video officers surrounding Nangauta were not wearing protective gear, Tapao says that the PPEs were dislodged from the officers’ faces during a struggle to subdue and take Nanguata into custody.
A mugshot taken of Nanguata shows injuries he sustained during the arrest.
Officers were able to subdue him and he was placed in the patrol cruiser and later brought to the precinct. Medical care was provided to him.
While Nanguata was arrested on the offenses of assault on a police officer he was not charged for the offense. Instead, court documents show that he has been charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.