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Trooper arrest investigated after girl's YouTube post

Posted: May 2, 2013 - 9:34pm  |  Updated: May 3, 2013 - 12:12am

ANCHORAGE — The arrest of a Kodiak woman by two Alaska State Troopers is under review after a video of the encounter was posted on YouTube.

The 11-minute video shows a trooper arguing with 20-year-old Skyler Irene Waite in her home Monday. As the trooper moves to leave, Waite moves behind him, and the trooper turns and shoves her backward. His partner sweeps Waite’s leg, and she is taken, yelling and kicking, into a trooper vehicle, demanding to know why she is being arrested.

Waite later said she was reaching for the door, the Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday (http://is.gd/Vj0kyg). The YouTube video, titled “Young woman arrested for nothing,” had been viewed more than 44,000 times as of late Thursday morning.

“It got a lot bigger than we ever anticipated,” said Dennis Carlsen, who lives at the trailer home with his wife, two children and Waite, his son’s girlfriend.

Col. Keith Mallard, head of the troopers, says troopers are seeking a review of the encounter by a state agency. He declined to comment on the troopers’ actions, or Waite’s actions, based on the video alone.

The troopers, Brian Mitchell and Boyd Branch, went to the home in response to a 911 call reporting a medical emergency involving someone “who had swallowed an unknown number of pills,” Mitchell wrote in an affidavit.

At the home, medics were at the front door, talking to Eileen Carlsen, Dennis Carlsen’s wife when Mitchell arrived. The woman agreed to talk to the trooper inside the home and told him she didn’t need a doctor, according to Mitchell’s affidavit. The trooper spotted a small amount of marijuana when he searched the home.

The Carlsens’ 15-year-old daughter, Sarah, filmed the encounter and uploaded the clip that night.

In the video, Waite can be seen loudly arguing with the trooper and refusing to answer questions. She tells the trooper he shouldn’t assume she smokes marijuana just because he saw some in the home.

Having marijuana in a home with a felon and children isn’t a good idea, Branch says.

According to Mitchell, he pushed Waite because he feared for his safety.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her reaching her left arm around me, which I considered a prelude to a physical assault,” he wrote. “I immediately shoved her away to create a distance between us.”

Waite was charged with assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Dennis Carlsen said Waite spent the night in jail and paid $100 bail.

The troopers did not seize the marijuana, according to Carlsen, who declined to say to whom the drug belonged.

Mallard said troopers have asked for a review of the encounter by the state Office of Professional Standards. He said the results of the inquiry might never be made public

Neither trooper has been placed on administrative leave.

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