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Story Last modified at 6:06 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Police Briefs: June 16, 2011

Man attacks women with pitchfork

A Chugiak man was arrested on June 5 after he assaulted several people in a car on Sunnyside Drive with a pitchfork, Anchorage police said. Jeffery Griffiths, 47, broke out the passenger window of a 2008 Pontiac G6 with the pitchfork and gave a 21-year-old passenger an inch-long cut below her eye, police said. A 15-year-old female passenger in the back seat also suffered some cuts from broken glass.

Then Griffiths used the broken butt end of the farm tool to assault the car's 19-year-old female driver, police spokeswoman Anita Shell said. That girl suffered a welt and bruise the size of a softball.

The trio came to the residence involved to replace a window the 15-year-old broke a week earlier, Shell said. Griffiths approached their car as they drove up, she said. A witness said he left on a bicycle. He was arrested later on charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

Talk about a shoe fetish

A 22-year-old Eagle River woman was arrested June 7 after she apparently took issue with a younger woman's choice of footwear and threatened her with a pipe at the Holiday gas station in Eagle River, Anchorage police said. The 19-year-old woman was pumping gas when Karen Robbins shouted at her, "telling her she was wearing hooker boots," police spokeswoman Anita Shell said. The younger woman told Robbins to leave her alone but Robbins continued to shout, Shell said. Her boyfriend came out of their vehicle and also threatened the woman, Shell said.

Then Robbins produced a metal pipe and swung it at the 19-year-old, Shell said. The woman called 911 and left but Robbins and her boyfriend followed her. Robbins, who later said the pipe was for killing fish, was arrested for third-degree assault and driving with license suspended and lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $3,500.

Bear Mountain tool thief goes on lam

A former Bear Mountain Grill employee stole more than $600 in tools from the Eagle River restaurant on June 2 but fled a Birchwood camp before he could be arrested, Anchorage police said.

Police last week issued an arrest warrant for Philip David Garner, 24, whose last known address was in Peters Creek, police spokeswoman Anita Shell said. The warrant is for two counts of third-degree theft

Garner stole several tools, including drills and a circular saw, from a room in the restaurant that he was asked to clean up, Shell said. An employee later found the items missing.

A member of the family that owns the restaurant told police that Garner admitted in a text message to stealing the tools and said he planned to restore them, Shell said. Officers found him at a camp in the woods off South Birchwood Loop Road but Garner fled before they could arrest him, she said.

Potato gun raises suspicion

Anchorage police said an automotive shop in Eagle River reported a vehicle with what looked to be a shoulder-fired cannon inside, "suspicious" books about aeronautics and physics, and an owner with "a middle-eastern name."

Officers who responded to the call could see the weapon: a homemade potato gun, said police spokeswoman Anita Shell. The books were for college courses and pilot training.

DUI arrests

Anchorage police said they arrested Jesse Reddick, 26, of Anchorage for felony driving under the influence after stopping him on June 4 on Business Boulevard and Regency Drive. Reddick coasted through a stop sign, had a loud muffler and mirrored tint on his back windows, police spokeswoman Anita Shell said. He failed field sobriety tests and his breath-alcohol levels were estimated at one and a half times the legal limit, Shell said. He was lodged at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Other DUI arrests, according to police:

Jesus Contreras, 52, of Eagle River on June 4 after someone called in to report he had been drinking all day and was driving to Wal-Mart to buy alcohol. Contreras failed field sobriety tests and his breath-alcohol levels were estimated at just under two times the legal limit once jailed. He was jailed at Anchorage Jail in lieu of $500 bail.

Daniel Ford, 46, of Chugiak on Gorsuch Street on June 6 after police responded to the report of a disturbance. Ford was trying to get into his ex-girlfriend's apartment after he had been drinking, Shell said. He got into a van and rolled through an intersection with a stop sign, she said. He failed a field sobriety test and refused to provide a breath sample, she said. The officer involved said Ford had four prior DUIs from Washington state. He was lodged at Anchorage Jail.

Leroy J. Harrison Jr., 29, of Anchorage on June 7 on the Glenn Highway for felony DUI – at least his third such arrest in 10 years – after another driver reported seeing him passing at high speeds and swerving southbound from the Knik River Bridge.

Harrison failed field sobriety tests. Harrison's breath-alcohol levels were estimated at more than two and a half times the legal limit. He was lodged at Anchorage Jail.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in at trial or until a plea of guilty is accepted by the courts.