Public safety briefs for May 17, 2020

Read the latest reports.

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

On May 9 at about 7:20 a.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a Sterling residence upon the report of an in-progress disturbance. Michael Buckwalter, 50, of Sterling, was contacted, and investigation revealed that Buckwalter had shot and killed a two-year-old German shepherd dog belonging to a family member, discharged a firearm and possessed another firearm while intoxicated, and assaulted another party on scene. Buckwalter was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility on charges of domestic violence animal cruelty, fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons, fourth-degree assault, and domestic violence third-degree criminal mischief.

On May 10 at 3:16 p.m., Alaska State Troopers contacted Michael Eugene Patow, Jr., 35, of Nikiski, walking along the Kenai Spur Highway near Beaver Avenue in Nikiski. A records check showed Patow, Jr. had an outstanding no-bail arrest warrant for violating conditions of release. Patow, Jr. was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial without bail.

On May 9 at about 5:10 p.m., Soldotna Dispatch received a REDDI (Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately) report of a white Ford Flatbed with an intoxicated driver, potentially driving from Kenai to Anchorage. At 5:55 p.m., Alaska State Troopers located the vehicle in Cooper Landing. Investigation showed that Donald Wright, 68, of Kenai, was impaired by alcohol. Wright was arrested for driving under the influence. He challenged the arresting trooper to fight multiple times during the remainder of the contact. Wright was taken to the Seward Jail on $500 bail.

On May 10 at 2:07 a.m., the Soldotna Alaska State Troopers K-9 Team was on patrol and observed a white 1998 Ford Explorer located in the ditch. The driver of the vehicle was located hiding in the woods and was identified as Robert G. Weeks, 34, of Homer. A check in the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) revealed that Weeks has a suspended California operator’s license for failure to appear to court and has an outstanding $500 arrest warrant for burglary. Weeks was arrested and taken to the Alaska State Troopers Post. Weeks resembles the suspect description and photographs of a burglary suspect from several different Funny River burglaries. Weeks was interviewed and admitted to the previous burglaries. He was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility, where he was remanded on the $500 warrant for burglary, two counts burglary, two counts of first-degree criminal trespass, two counts of fifth-degree criminal mischief, two counts fourth-degree theft, and violating conditions of release.

On May 10 at 8:05 p.m., Soldotna Alaska State Troopers and Central Emergency Services responded to an overturned ATV crash in the Ciechanski Road area. Investigation found that Michael “Sam” Menapace, 46, of Kenai, was operating a small four-wheeler when he crashed. Menapace was taken via ambulance to Central Peninsula Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash. Investigation is continuing.

On May 11 at 10:08 p.m., Kenai police conducted a traffic stop on Willow Street near Main Street Loop. Ronald T. Dolchok, Jr., 45, of Kenai, was issued a summons for driving while license revoked.

On May 9 at about 12:30 a.m., Kenai police conducted a routine traffic stop on vehicle near Mile 8 of the Kenai Spur Highway. After investigation, a 16-year-old male, of Soldotna, was arrested for driving under the influence. The juvenile was released to his parents.

On May 9 at about 4:50 a.m., Kenai police received the report about Karli R. Bell, 20, of Kasilof, violating her conditions of release. Kenai police responded to a residence on Fireweed Lane, where they contacted Amy A. Hegevold, 43, of Kenai. After investigation, Bell was arrested for violating conditions of release, and Hegevold was issued a summons for two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and violating custodial duties. Bell was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On May 9 at 10:16 a.m., Kenai police conducted a routine traffic stop on a vehicle near Second Avenue and Evergreen Street. Corey A. Olympic, 26, of Kenai, was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 8 at 7:09 p.m., Kenai police received the report of a possible intoxicated driver in the area of Birch Street. Officers responded to the area and located the suspect vehicle and contacted the driver, Phillip Henry, Jr., 41, of Soldotna. After investigation Henry was arrested for driving under the influence and violating conditions of release and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 8 at 11:28 p.m., Kenai police received the report of an assault at a residence off Strawberry Road. Officers responded to the residence and contacted Jonathan J. Herrmann, 19, of Kenai, and Justin J. Herrmann, 28, of Kenai. After investigation, both Justin and Jonathan were arrested for fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 5 at about 10:20 p.m., Kenai police responded to Auk Street on a report of an assault. Mario V. Reyna, 36, of Kenai, was arrested for fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 4 at about 7:30 a.m., Kenai police received a call of a vehicle with flat tires that had possibly run over some logs parked in front of a local business. Alexandrea M. Followell, 20, of Soldotna, was issued a summons for failure to give immediate notice of an accident and leaving the scene of an accident.

On May 13 at 3:01 a.m., Soldotna Alaska State Troopers responded to a Nikiski residence for multiple reports of a physical domestic disturbance. Investigation resulted in Michael Darwin, 35, of Nikiski, being arrested for four counts of third-degree assault against multiple family members. Darwin was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility without bail, pending arraignment.

On May 13 at about 12:50 p.m., an Alaska State Trooper stopped a vehicle on the Sterling Highway at Alta Loop after recognizing the driver as Wayland Branstetter, 52, of Anchor Point, who was known to have a suspended license. Further investigation showed Branstetter also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest from a previous driving while license suspended case. Branstetter was arrested and taken to the Homer Jail.

On May 12 at 12:12 a.m., Kenai police responded to a suspicious vehicle near McKinley Street. Kimberly K. Trefon, 18, of Kenai, was arrested for driving under the influence and sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On May 13 at 5:38 p.m., Alaska State Troopers conducted a traffic stop on a white Ford Expedition near Mile 8 of the Seward Highway. Investigation revealed that the driver, Christopher Rogers, 41, of Seward, had an outstanding warrant for his arrest on the original charge of reckless driving. Rogers was arrested and taken to the Seward Jail on $300 bail.

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