Kasilof man arrested after Saturday chase

After a chase along Kalifornsky Beach Road, Alaska State Troopers arrested Clayton Nelson, 23, of Kasilof on Saturday after a Friday incident in which he’d allegedly attempted to stab a man with a spear.

Around 7:27 p.m. on Friday, Soldotna Police Sergeant Duane Kant responded to a 911 call from the Soldotna McDonald’s parking lot, where the caller told Kant he’d been driving Nelson’s black Ford pickup truck with Nelson in the passenger seat. Th caller said he’d been helping Nelson, whose license was suspended after a DUI conviction earlier in the summer.

“As they pulled off the Sterling Highway into the Soldotna McDonald’s parking lot, (the caller) stated that Nelson ‘lost it’ and attempted to stab him in the upper torso with a spear,” according to the case’s probable cause statement, based on Kant’s observations. “(The caller) described the spear as a knife attached to a length of wooden closet rod dowel. (The caller) said he was placed in fear by Nelson’s actions and avoided being stabbed by scooting around in the seat and then exiting the pickup while the pickup was still in motion.”

According to Kant’s statement, the victim said he’d attempted to grab his cell phone while leaving the truck, but Nelson had kept him from doing so. As a result, Nelson was charged with theft in the fourth degree in addition to assault in the third degree — a class c felony with a maximum penalty of up to two years imprisonment for a first conviction. Nelson wasn’t arrested because he had driven away before Kant arrived.

Law enforcers next saw Nelson around 1 p.m Saturday, when Alaska State Trooper Pierre Pages was driving toward Soldotna on Bridge Access Road and recognized the wanted black pickup driving the opposite direction, according to Pages’ affidavit. Pages turned around and saw the truck “quickly pull away from my location and pass two vehicles crossing the double yellow lanes into oncoming traffic.” With Pages in pursuit, Nelson turned around through a driveway on Bridge Access Road and started heading south on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

Nelson had two passengers in his truck at the time. One of them later stated that Nelson used her cell phone during the chase to make a 911 call, giving a false report of shots fired at the Kenai Walmart in order to divert troopers from the chase.

A second trooper joined the pursuit. Pages wrote that he “observed numerous vehicles take evasive actions by pulling off to the side of the roadway in order to avoid collision with Nelson’s vehicle.” After an approximately 20-mile chase, Nelson’s truck went into a ditch, and he was arrested.

Nelson was transported to Wildwood Pretrial Facility. As a result of the chase he was charged with reckless driving, driving with license revoked, failure to stop, two charges of assault in the third degree for placing his passengers in fear during the chase, violating conditions of release for his prior DUI, and terroristic threatening in the second degree — a charge of falsely reporting threats.

In addition to the Friday threatening incident and the Saturday chase, Nelson is facing a third case with charges of assault in the third degree as a result of a June incident in which he allegedly threatened his brother with an axe.

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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