A 55-year-old local man was arrested for impersonating a police officer, robbery and theft after he stole a teenager’s backpack Thursday morning, police say.
According to Lt. David Campbell, a spokesman for the Juneau Police Department, a man approached a 16-year-old boy at about 9 a.m. near the parking lot of the Travelodge Hotel at 9200 Glacier Highway, told him he was a police officer and that he needed to hand over his backpack.
When the boy asked the man for identification, the man kicked him in the leg and ran off with his backpack, Campbell said. The boy, who did not require medical attention, called 911 on his cell phone and reported the incident to police. The teen’s name was not released since he is a minor.
An officer, whose name is being withheld, located the suspect minutes later on Mallard Street still in possession of the stolen backpack.
Campbell said the man, who police identified as Larry Alan Reiger, resisted arrest and wrestled with the officer on the ground. A second officer arrived on scene shortly afterward and Tasered Reiger twice — once at a distance and a second time up close — to subdue him.
“The officer deployed it at a distance, (and) Mr. Reiger continued to struggle,” Campbell said in a phone interview, “and then as the officer got closer, he deployed it as a handheld device — same instrument, but as a handheld device — and after the second deploying of the device is when Mr. Reiger complied and stopped fighting and was able to be put in handcuffs.”
Reiger was taken to the hospital where he was medically cleared, the usual police procedure when Tasers are used, and he was taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center where he was held without bail.
Police recommended Reiger be charged with second-degree robbery, a felony, as well as misdemeanor charges for impersonating a public servant, theft and assaulting a police officer. Court records indicate Reiger has not yet been formally charged.
Campbell said the police officer who wrestled with Reiger on the ground scraped his forearm in the scuffle. The officer’s name is not being released since he is considered a victim in the case, Campbell said.
Police do not believe Reiger was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, Campbell said.
The backpack was returned to the teenager, Campbell noted. It was not known if the teen was from Juneau.
Reiger currently has a misdemeanor assault charge open in another case filed last month, and he has a criminal history that dates back to the early 1990s, according to online court records. Records indicate he has multiple prior misdemeanor assault convictions, as well as convictions for violating probation/parole, resisting arrest, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.