Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna police offer arrested on domestic violence assault charge

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation

A Soldotna Police Officer is facing one charge of fourth-degree assault in connection to an alleged incident of domestic violence reported last month.

David Bower, 50, of Soldotna, was arrested on July 19 by Alaska State Troopers after the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Soldotna Major Crimes Unit determined that Bower had assaulted a family member.

Bower has worked at the Soldotna Police Department since 2004 according to his LinkedIn page and, according to charging documents, has worked in law enforcement for 25 years. Alaska State Trooper Sgt. A. Macdonald wrote in a July 19 affidavit accompanying charging documents that Bower reported being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the alleged assault.

The same affidavit says that call logs from the 911 dispatch center in Soldotna show that at least two prior 911 calls were made from the home reporting domestic abuse by Bower, since 2019. Macdonald in the affidavit says the Soldotna Police Department responded to both calls and did not in either case create an incident report, write a narrative or log notes or evidence.

“20 minutes after leaving the house and without separating the parties, police began receiving additional calls that the arguing and fighting (had) resumed and the children didn’t feel safe,” Macdonald wrote of one of the prior incidents. “Police never went back to the house but elected to handle this with a phone call to the juvenile complainant.”

Soldotna City Manager Janette Bower on Thursday said via email that, in accordance with Soldotna Police Department policy, Officer Bower has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation and an internal administrative investigation by the City of Soldotna.

“There will be no further comment on this incident until the completion of these investigations,” Janette Bower said. “Please note this charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

Janette Bower is not related to Soldotna Police Officer David Bower. Janette Bower’s husband, also named David Bower, works for the Alaska State Troopers.

Per Alaska Statute, a person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree if that person recklessly causes physical injury to another person. Fourth degree assault is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000, according to the Alaska Court System.

A bail hearing in Bower’s case is scheduled for Aug. 8. Bower’s attorney could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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