Public safety briefs for May 31, 2020

Read the latest reports.

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 May 23 at 9:42 a.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report of a female who had broken into a residence in the Anchor Point area. Troopers responded and contacted Liberty Barnes, 36, of Anchorage, who was arrested and taken to the Homer Jail on one count of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree criminal trespass.

On May 22 at 2:09 p.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a Sterling residence after receiving a complaint regarding malnourished dogs on the property. A total of four dogs were located on the property, chained to separate trees, with no access to food or water. Two of the four dogs, nicknamed Frankenstein and Milton by troopers, showed signs of emaciation. All four dogs were seized and taken to a veterinary clinic for medical treatment and analysis. The two remaining dogs, nicknamed bonnie and Clyde by veterinary staff, were determined to be in reasonable health condition. All four dogs were left in the care of a responsible entity, pending case disposition. James Matthews, 52, of Sterling, was contacted during the investigation and was issued criminal citations for two counts of cruelty to animals. Frankenstein and Milton are both expected to make a full recovery. Alaska State Troopers would like to express an abundance of gratitude to the Soldotna Animal Hospital for their efforts in making impromptu arrangements to treat the animals and for their generous donation of specialized dog food for their continuing care.

On May 23 at 5:15 p.m., Alaska State Troopers stopped a vehicle on the Sterling Highway near Browning Avenue in Anchor Point, after recognizing the driver as Timothy Taylor, 33, of Ninilchik, who was known to not have a valid license. During the stop, it was found that Taylor’s license was in revoked status and he was on conditions of release in previous criminal cases. He was given summons to appear in court and released.

On May 24 at 6:11 p.m., the Soldotna Alaska State Troopers K-9 Team conducted a traffic stop on a white 1999 Dodge truck after observing the driver failing to wear a seat belt. After investigation, Gwen Marie Slater, 47, of Soldotna, was arrested for driving under the influence and first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. She was taken to the Soldotna Troopers Post for Datamaster processing, then taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On May 26 at 12:01 a.m., Alaska State Troopers Dispatch received and responded to a report of a disturbance at a Helgeson Avenue address in Soldotna. Investigation found that Michael Hughes, 60, had assaulted a family member. Hughes was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility for fourth-degree assault (domestic violence).

On May 25 at about 4:00 p.m., the Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center received a 911 call from a concerned motorist regarding a vehicle that was repeatedly leaving its lane of travel and driving onto the shoulder of the road along the Sterling Highway in Cooper Landing. Seward-based troopers responded and contacted the driver, Van Withrow, 33, of Anchorage, at Mile 38 of the Sterling Highway. Investigation revealed that Withrow was driving under the influence of alcohol. Withrow was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to the Seward Jail for Datamaster testing. Withrow refused to provide a breath sample to measure the level of alcohol in his breath. He was remanded on one count of driving under the influence and one count of refusal to submit to a chemical test.

On May 25 at 3:29 p.m., Kenai police responded to a suspicious vehicle on the Kenai Spur Highway. After investigation, Robert R. Backstrom, 37, of Sterling, was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant and for a new indictment for fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, violating conditions of release, fourth-degree theft, second-degree trespass, and violating conditions of release. Backstrom was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On May 24 at 4:36 a.m., Kenai police Received a 911 call reporting an assault that had just occurred at a residence on Cook Inlet View Drive. Officers responded to the scene and contacted a Donald B. Lee, 32, of Emmonak. After investigation, Lee was arrested for fourth-degree assault, making a false report, and resisting arrest and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 23 at 10:51 p.m.,, Kenai police conducted a routine traffic stop on a vehicle near Lawton Drive and Baker Street and contacted a Natasha M. Aragon, 28, of Soldotna, and Jordan S. Goracke, 29, of Kasilof. After investigation, Goracke was arrested for petition to revoke probation and fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial. Aragon was released from the scene, pending further investigation. Aragon was contacted on May 25 by officers and arrested for two counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 22 at 3:06 a.m., Kenai police contacted a suspicious vehicle off Borgan Avenue and contacted the driver, Sidney P. Clark, 37, of Kenai. A records check showed that Clark had an active warrant for his arrest. He was arrested for a Soldotna Alaska State Troopers $1,500 arrest warrant for violating conditions of release and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial.

On May 24 at about 2:50 p.m., Alaska Wildlife Troopers were patrolling the Kasilof River and observed a drift boat with a young girl not wearing a life jacket. Investigation revealed the female was eight years old and on a guided fishing trip with her family. The guide, John Weber, 29, from South Carolina, was issued a citation for personal flotation device requirement.

On May 26 at about 5:10 a.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a reported assault at a residence on Alut Avenue in Anchor Point. Investigation showed that Joshua Pettersen, 43, of Anchor Point, had assaulted a family member, damaged the family member’s phone when they tried to call police, and was on conditions of release in a prior criminal case and was not supposed to contact the family member or be at the residence. Pettersen had left the residence prior to trooper arrival but was contacted later in the day and arrested.

On May 28 at about 10:30 p.m., Alaska State Troopers conducted a traffic stop near Jones Road and Echo Lake Road in Soldotna and contacted Quincy Miller, 18, of Kasilof. After investigation revealed he was operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, he was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

On May 28 at 10:47 p.m., the Soldotna Alaska State Troopers K-9 Team responded to a report of a disturbance occurring at an address on Echo Lake Road, where investigation revealed that a physical altercation had occurred. Sarah A. Bry, 30, of Soldotna, was arrested and taken to Wildwood Pretrial without bail on one count of fourth-degree assault (domestic violence).

On May 28 at about 8:00 p.m., Alaska State Troopers attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle on Basargin Road in Homer. The vehicle attempted to flee. During the pursuit, speeds reached about 70 miles per hour. The vehicle eventually ran off the roadway and crashed in a ditch. Investigation resulted in all occupants of the vehicle being taken to South Peninsula Hospital for treatment. All occupants were under 21 years of age, and most admitted to drinking alcohol. The driver provided a breath sample for the preliminary breath test and showed a breath alcohol content of .198. The driver was arrested and charged with five counts of third-degree assault, one count of driving under the influence, one count of driving in violation of instruction permit, one count of minor operating after consuming alcohol, and one count of minor consuming alcohol and was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center in Kenai.

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