Tuesday, March 9, 1999
TRO issued againstBy Pat Bigold
St. Louis football star
A temporary restraining order was secured yesterday from District Court against all-state St. Louis defensive lineman Tamotu Tagoai by a teacher he allegedly threatened in the classroom last month.
Tagoai, 19, who signed a national letter of intent with Nebraska, was to be arraigned this morning on a misdemeanor charge of second-degree terroristic threatening. But he showed up without an attorney and the judge reset the arraignment and plea to March 30.
Had the alleged incident occurred in a public school, the charge would have been a felony.
"It's a temporary order and it's good until the hearing (for a permanent order) on the 23rd," said Gerilyn Tolentino Corpuz, who tendered her resignation as a physics teacher at St. Louis on Feb. 23 and taught her last classes on Friday.
Corpuz had Tagoai arrested on Thursday after she said administrative officials at the school failed to give her the support she needed to feel secure.
Corpuz said that her fiance, Randall Kamisato, was assaulted late on Friday, the day the Star-Bulletin broke the story of the arrest. Corpuz said Kamisato overheard a couple of men making derogatory remarks about her while reading the newspaper story in a Zippy's restaurant on South King Street and was hit when he objected.
Corpuz said she decided to seek the restraining order shortly after Tagoai made his alleged threat on Feb. 8.
It was during an after-class session in which she said she was counseling Tagoai about his academic performance and "disruptive" behavior in class that Corpuz said advised him she might write a letter to Nebraska about his performance.
Corpuz said Tagoai rolled up his sleeves and told her, "If any teacher did that, I would have to pull a Tony Tata."
The Star-Bulletin quoted St. Louis president, Rev. Mario Pariante, in a Sept. 30, 1998, story as saying that Tata smashed the vehicle window of a teacher a week before graduation.