Police reports for the week of Dec. 12, 2021

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Alaska State Troopers logo.

Information for this report was taken from publicly available law enforcement records and contains arrest and citation information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

On Dec. 3 at 9:58 p.m., the Alaska State Troopers K9 Unit conducted a traffic stop near Mile 2 of East End Road in Homer for multiple moving violations. The driver and only occupant of the vehicle was identified as Shawn McKenna, 36, of Anchorage. After investigation revealed he was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, McKenna was arrested for driving under the influence and driving while license revoked and taken to the Homer Jail, where he was remanded and released on his own recognizance.

Whittier Search & Rescue, Missing Person

UPDATE: On Dec. 4, the owner of the vessel involved with the initial Search and Rescue and other family members of Luki Akelkok III responded to Whittier to help locate and retrieve the vessel that capsized on Dec. 1. At about 12:10 p.m., those same people located the vessel in Logging Camp Bay, which is located about nine miles northeast of Whittier. About 30 minutes later, the remains of missing person/boater, Luki Akelkok III, were found about 200 yards from the vessel and offshore in two feet of water. At the time of the body recovery, Luki was not observed to be wearing a personal flotation device. It appears the body of Luki had drifted about five miles before coming to rest. Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded to conduct a follow-up investigation, and the Luki’s body is being taken to Anchorage per the request of the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Luki’s next of kin and the U.S. Coast Guard have been advised of the recovery.

ORIGINAL NOTICE: On 12-01-21 at 1848 hours, MatCom dispatch contacted AST to report a vessel was sinking near Whittier. Further investigation revealed a group of 2 vessels with 2 persons onboard each vessel had been hunting deer on Esther Island in Prince William Sound and were returning separately to Whittier on Wednesday afternoon. One of the vessels arrived in Whittier at approximately 3:30 pm. The other vessel, a 20-foot aluminum Lund skiff operated by Luki Akelkok (age 28 of Dillingham) with passenger Stefan Weingarth (age 28 of Anchorage), and 4 deer and 2 seals on board, encountered inclement weather conditions on the way back to Whittier. At 5:53 pm, Weingarth contacted the other boat operator who was already en route back to Anchorage to report the bow of their vessel was underwater, they were 5 minutes outside of Whittier, and they were sinking. On-scene weather at the time was described by the witness as seas of 6 feet with white caps on top of the waves, winds blowing 40 knots, and dark skies. USCG D17 Juneau and USCG Sector Anchorage were contacted, and they immediately coordinated a multi SAR platform response utilizing a vessel and aircraft from Valdez, however, their response was slowed down due to bad weather while en route to the scene. On 12-01-21 at 10:13 pm, the USCG reported 1 unidentified person was located deceased and wearing a life jacket approximately 5 miles northeast of Whittier in Passage Canal, near Trinity Point. In addition, the missing vessel was located, and 1 person was still missing and unaccounted for. The USCG continued to remain on scene and resume the search. On 12-02-21 at 03:10 am, Whittier PD met with USCG vessel crews to receive and tentatively identify the recovered remains as Stefan Weingarth. The remains are being transported to the SMEO in Anchorage. SAR efforts continued to be hampered with severe weather conditions as winds are blowing 50-60 knots. AWT Troopers have responded to Whittier to assist with the search. A USCG cutter from Seward has also responded and is on scene. In addition, a USCG helo from Kodiak is anticipated to assist as well. Luki Akelkok remains a missing person. All next of kin have been notified and the search for Luki Akelkok continues. The Alaska State Troopers wish to thank the USCG, their aircraft, and boat crews for their response and valiant efforts. In addition, AST wishes to thank Whittier PD for their assistance.

On Dec. 5 at 12:15 a.m., Alaska State Troopers conducted a traffic stop for a traffic violation in Soldotna. After investigation, Teddy Thorstad, 38, of Soldotna, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages. He refused to provide a breath sample as required by law and was also arrested for refusal to submit to a chemical test. He was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility after a sample of his blood was drawn with a search warrant.

On Dec. 4 at 7:43 p.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report of an active disturbance. Investigation revealed that Brandon Cleveland, 34, of Soldotna, had physically assaulted family members. Cleveland had three prior fourth-degree assault convictions in the last 10 years. Cleveland was charged with two counts of third-degree assault and taken to . Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On Dec. 6 at 5:15 a.m., Soldotna Police Department (SPD) responded to a report of an intoxicated male and female walking in the roadway near the 4 Royle Parkers Bar in Soldotna. Upon SPD arrival, the male was identified as Drew Owen Eiche, 50, of Kodiak. The two were told to stay out of the roadway. At about 5:40 a.m., the Soldotna Alaska State Troopers (AST) K-9 Team responded to a report of a male chasing a female into the 4 Royle Parkers Bar. Eiche was also reported to be at the 4 Royal Parkers doors, yelling and banging on the doors of the bar, trying to make entry. Upon AST K-9 Unit arrival, Eiche was found to be intoxicated and stated he wanted to be taken to jail. Eiche was arrested for being drunk on a licensed premise and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility, where he was released on his own recognizance once sober.

On Dec. 5 at about 2:00 p.m., Alaska State Troopers observed a brown Chevy with dark tinted windows and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. After investigation, Daniel Dobson, 36, of Sterling, was issued a summons for driving with a suspended license, with a mandatory court date. The vehicle was released to a licensed driver.

On Dec. 6 at about 3:50 p.m., Alaska State Troopers arrested Pavel Usoltseff, 32 of Nikolaevsk, at a residence on Baranoff Street in Nikolaevsk for an outstanding warrant. Usoltseff was contacted for service of the warrant and was taken to the Homer Jail.

On Dec. 6 at 4:41 p.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a residence outside Soldotna for a welfare check and contacted Russell Elliott Wilson, Jr., 40, of Soldotna. He was found to be on court-ordered conditions of release for multiple prior felony offenses. He was in possession of and impaired by heroin. He was arrested for violating conditions of release and fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and was taken to. Wildwood Pretrial Facility without bail, pending arraignment.

On Dec. 7 at 3:02 a.m., Kenai police responded to a local business for reports of a dispute. After investigation, Timothy J. Fitzpatrick, 35, of Kenai, was arrested on an Anchorage Alaska State Troopers/Justice System warrant for failure to appear for remand on original charges of fourth-degree assault and two counts of violating conditions of release for a felony, no bail. Fitzpatrick was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On Dec. 6, the Kenai Police Department issued a summons to Sara A. Mitchell, 30, of Nikiski, for fourth-degree theft, stemming from a Dec. 4, report from a local Kenai business. Mitchell was also arrested for violating conditions of release by the Pretrial Enforcement Division and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On Dec. 6 at 10:32 p.m., Kenai police conducted a traffic stop near Mile 12 of the Kenai Spur Highway. After investigation, Braydon T. Goodman, 22, of Kenai, was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On Dec. 4 at about 9:30 p.m., Kenai police were out on patrol and contacted the single occupant of a vehicle near Mile 10.5 of the Kenai Spur Highway, Gordon Baktuit, 64, of Kenai. A records check indicated that Baktuit had an outstanding Soldotna Alaska State Troopers $250 warrant for failure to appear for arraignment on the original charge of driving under the influence. Baktuit was arrested on the warrant and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On Dec. 3 at 4:21 p.m., Kenai police responded to the area of the Kenai Spur Highway and Ross Street for the report of an occupied parked suspicious vehicle. After police arrived on scene and contacted the occupants, a records check showed that Andrew J. Hoke, 25, of Kenai, had an outstanding warrant. Hoke was arrested a $20,000 Soldotna Alaska State Troopers warrant for violating conditions of probation on the original charge of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On Dec. 2, at 11:05 p.m., a Kenai police officer conducted a traffic stop near Mile 7 of the Kenai Spur Highway. As a result of the contact, John R. Peterson, 51, of Kenai, was issued a summons for driving while license revoked.

On Dec. 8 at 8:23 a.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report of a disturbance from a residence off Caines Head Court in Seward. Troopers contacted the parties involved in the parking lot of Bear Creek Fire Department. Investigation revealed that Leif Rydberg, 38, of Seward, was driving while impaired by a controlled substance with a minor in the back seat. Rydberg is also on probation for a previous charge. Rydberg was arrested and taken to Seward Community Jail with no set bail on the charges of driving under the influence, first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and violating conditions of probation. The child was released to a responsible third party.

On Dec. 8 at 8:21 p.m., Alaska State Troopers received a REDDI (Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately) call from near Kalifornsky Beach Road and Gas Well Road in Soldotna. Troopers contacted Daniel Osmar, 29, of Kenai. When investigation revealed he was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance and was in possession of controlled substances, Osmar was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility for driving under the influence and two counts of fifth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

On Dec. 9 at 9:13 p.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a disturbance in Sterling, After investigation revealed that Michael Romatz, 65, of Sterling, had assaulted a family member, he was arrested for fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On Dec. 9 at about 9:20 a.m., Kenai police responded to suspicious vehicle report near the Kenai Spur Highway and Coral Street. After contacting all parties associated with the vehicle, Lisa M. Bevin, 40, of Kenai, was arrested for fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, and Jacob S. Hunt, 35, of Nikiski, was arrested for two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. Both Bevin and Hunt were taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On Dec. 9 at 12:03 p.m., Kenai police assisted Alaska State Troopers with a call for service. As a result, Lewis M. O’Reagan, 39, of Kenai, was arrested for fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On Dec. 8 at 5:38 p.m., Kenai police officers responded to a residence near Willow Street in Kenai for an after-the-fact assault report. After contacting all parties involved, Joshua A. Meyer, 46, of Kenai, was arrested for third-degree assault (domestic violence) and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On Dec. 10 at about 2:00 p.m., Soldotna Alaska State Troopers conducted a motor vehicle stop at Mile 88.5 of the Sterling Highway, within the Sterling Highway Safety Corridor. The driver was identified as Bradley Hulen, 52, of Sterling. A records check showed that Hulen is the respondent in an active domestic violence protective order out of Oregon. When the investigation revealed that Hulen was in violation of the order, he was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

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