Police seek suspect in pepper spray burglary

Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An unknown man entered an unlocked residence at a Mendenhall Valley trailer park Sunday night and pepper sprayed a 25-year-old woman, according to police.

A 29-year-old man called the Juneau Police Department at about 7:35 p.m. Sunday to report that while he was at the store an unknown man entered his home off Stephen Richards Memorial Drive and pepper sprayed his fiancé. Police are seeking the public's help for any clues.

"This lady says that somebody broke into her house and sprayed something at her, which she believed to be pepper spray," Sgt. Dave Campbell said. "She said that just one gentleman entered her house. We're trying to figure out who that is. She said that he was an African American and was of average height and average build."

Two children, ages 6 and 1, were also in the residence at the time of the incident, Campbell said. The female and two children were transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital for decontamination and evaluation. They were all later released.

Campbell does not believe the children were directly pepper sprayed during the incident.

"The woman was pepper sprayed, however, whenever you use pepper spray in a confined space you do smell it really bad and it's hard to breathe," he said. "It's definitely not a pleasant experience ...."

The assailant could possibly face assault and burglary charges if caught, Campbell said.

"The reason it's listed as a burglary is because the statutory definition of burglary is if you enter a private place with the intent to commit a crime."

Anyone with any information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact JPD at 586-0600. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous is encouraged to contact Juneau Crime Line at 586-4243.

"At this point we don't know who it was so we don't know if it was random or retribution, or something along those lines," Campbell said.

The investigation is ongoing.

• Contact reporter Eric Morrisonat 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.



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