Man sues NMI gov’t, DPS officers


A man is suing the CNMI government and two Department of Public Safety officers in Superior Court for allegedly unlawfully arresting him.

Nicholas Yarolfalchuw has filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court, naming the CNMI government, police sergeant John Cabrera, and police officer Daniel Fitial as defendants for allegedly unlawfully arresting him in May 2021.

Yarolfalchuw previously filed the same lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

Joseph E. Horey, who represents Yarolfalchuw, argues that the degree of force that Cabrera and Fitial used against his client was “excessive,” considering the non-severity of Yarolfalchuw’s crime, and the absence of any immediate threat to the safety of themselves or others.

Yarolfalchuw is asking to be awarded unspecified damages and other relief the court deems just and proper.

According to the complaint, on or about May 10, 2021, at 5pm, Yarolfalchuw, a resident of Kagman III, was sitting at a pavilion on the premises of his residence and talking with relatives when Cabrera arrived and entered the premises, parking beside the pavilion. 

In a short discussion with Yarolfalchuw, Cabrera questioned Yarolfalchuw about his involvement in an incident of disturbing the peace that had been reported at Tank Beach. Yarolfalchuw informed Cabrera that he was trespassing, and instructed him to depart.

Cabrera instead used his vehicle to block the driveway and entrance to the premises, and called Fitial to assist him in arresting Yarolfalchuw.

Fitial arrived in another vehicle, which he also used to block Yarolfalchuw’s driveway. 

“Fitial, with the assistance and under the supervision and direction of Cabrera, ordered Yarolfalchuw to place his hands behind his back, and placed him in handcuffs…doing so with such force and violence as to cause sharp pain and suffering to [Yarolfalchuw] in his arms and shoulders,” the complaint stated.

Horey further argued that arresting a person at his home, without a warrant, and without both exigent circumstances and reasonable cause to believe that he had committed a felony, is an unreasonable and illegal seizure.

Back in January 2022, Yarolfalchuw sued Fitial and Cabrera in federal court alleging unlawful arrest and the deprivation of his civil rights. 

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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