3 charged after Kenai beach assault

Video evidence of the incident and multiple calls from concerned citizens led to the arrests.

The badge for the Kenai Police Department

The badge for the Kenai Police Department

Three people have been charged and two are in custody following investigation into an assault on the Kenai Beach that occurred Monday, according to statements from the Kenai Police Department.

Elijah Royal-Reyna, 19, of Kenai, was charged with fourth-degree assault on July 9 and issued a summons to appear at the Kenai Courthouse.

Additionally, two minors, aged 15 and 17, of Kenai, have been arrested and transported to Kenai Youth Detention Facility. The 15-year old was arrested on July 8 and the 17-year old was arrested on July 9, according to a July 9 press release from the Kenai Police Department. Both have been charged with fourth-degree assault.

Lt. Ben Langham of the Kenai Police Department told the Clarion Friday that video evidence of the incident and multiple calls from concerned citizens led to the arrests.

“Between the video and the number of witnesses that spoke to us, we definitely had the ability to identify suspects in this case,” Langham said.

The video has not been reviewed by the Clarion, but Langham said that the footage depicts one person assaulting another on the beach, with others then joining to attack the victim.

“What the video shows is what appears to be a bonfire, and a male goes up to another male, picks him up, slams him, and then the male that was slammed to the ground is repeatedly punched by that person, and then several other people joined in,” Langham said on Friday.

The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries, Langham said, and the investigation is still ongoing.

Because police were not present at the time the assault occurred, Langham said, Royal-Reyna was issued a summons rather than arrested after being formally charged with fourth-degree assault. Under state laws, Langham explained, officers cannot make arrests after-the-fact for certain misdemeanor charges, including fourth-degree assault.

Criminal charges against minors fall under a separate judicial system, Langham said, which is why the other two suspects were arrested and remanded at the Kenai Youth Detention Facility.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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