Man arrested for allegedly punching wife


A man allegedly punched his common-law wife on the mouth and thigh at their home in San Antonio Sunday morning for refusing to give him money so he could buy methamphetamine or “ice.”

The victim was holding their infant son when Helimar Santiago allegedly did the punching. One punch caused the victim’s thigh to hit the baby’s mouth, police said.

When a police officer responded, the victim, who was carrying the baby, was crying and she had bloodstains on her lip. The officer observed that the baby was also bruised in the mouth and head.

Santiago, 29, was arrested on Wednesday night for assault and battery, disturbing the peace, and child abuse or neglect.

At a hearing yesterday, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo set a $25,000 cash bail and appointed the Public Defender’s Office as counsel for the suspect.

Preliminary hearing will be on Dec. 18 at 9am.

Police detective Romeo Francisco Iginoef stated in his report that a police officer responded to the San Antonio basketball court on Sunday at 11:22am after the victim called for police’s assistance.

The victim told police that Santiago became angry after she told him not to return home anymore if he is going to keep smoking “ice.” Santiago told the wife to shut up and threatened to punch her in the mouth. When their infant child began crying, Santiago got irritated and flicked the baby’s head and mouth with his finger.

Santiago then asked the wife to give him money but she refused because she knew he would only use it to buy “ice.” Santiago punched her mouth, causing it to bleed. He again punched her on the thigh. The thigh hit the baby’s mouth.

The wife then left the house to go to church, bringing their child with her. Before they left the house, Santiago allegedly threatened to beat her up again when she returns from church. That’s when the wife decided to call the police.

Last March, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho acquitted Santiago of all charges in connection with the alleged beating of his common-law wife and one of their four children.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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