AlaskaDigest

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Friday, March 25, 2005

Police investigate allegation of assault

JUNEAU - A 37-year-old man found bleeding from cuts to his head early Thursday is at the center of an investigation of an alleged sexual-assault attempt at a Douglas apartment complex.

The man, whom police did not identify, was not charged as of late Thursday, according to police Capt. Tom Porter. He said officers are still looking into the incident.

Police received a call at 1:11 a.m. saying that a man was being held down in an apartment where an attempted sexual assault took place. At the scene they found the man injured. He was later taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital to be treated.

People at the apartment told police the man had tried to assault a 17-year-old girl at the apartment. They attributed his injuries to a struggle that ensued after he was caught by friends and relatives of the girl.

Infrared technology used to find fugitive

KODIAK - Kodiak authorities used infrared technology to hunt down a man accused of beating and strangling a woman then fleeing into the woods.

Wayne Buck, 27, was arrested on an attempted murder charge and other charges.

Alaska State Troopers responded to a 911 call of domestic violence Sunday night to find Buck had run away.

According to authorities, Buck had assaulted a 23-year-old woman by punching, kicking and strangling her. The woman ran from her home, leaving her baby behind, to call 911 from a neighbor's house.

Troopers said Buck broke out a large front-entry window after the woman left the home.

When troopers arrived and found Buck gone, they asked Kodiak police for assistance and got a heat-sensing device using forward-looking infrared technology.

The infrared technology works by picking up thermal energy and is different from night vision equipment that amplifies visible light. It can work in total darkness and in obscured conditions like fog.

The technology has advanced in recent years and can be hand-held, include recording features or be mounted on patrol cars.

Kodiak authorities used the equipment to find Buck in nearby woods.

Buck was taken to Kodiak Jail and held without bail on charges of attempted murder in the second degree, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

The charges were forwarded to the Kodiak District Attorney's office.

Thieves steal $60,000 in gas

FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks police are investigating the theft of 27,000 gallons of gasoline from an unstaffed Sourdough Fuel fill-up station.

The amount of stolen fuel is enough to drive an average sport utility vehicle from Fairbanks to Orlando, Fla., more than 100 times.

The theft occurred over a period of months, according to the Fairbanks Police Department.

Police have two possible suspects, though they said more are likely involved in a scam that has cost the company about $60,000.

The thieves stole the gasoline by bypassing Sourdough's electronic credit-card payment system, said police officer Phil James.

"It's going to be very tough to figure out where the gas actually went and who actually got it," James said.

Sourdough officials first noticed fuel was missing from the station late last year, James said.

Sourdough officials hired a private security firm to keep an eye on the station, James said. On March 15, a pair of men filled up a tank in the back of a pickup truck without paying. A security officer called the police.

The men were arrested on one count each of second-degree attempted theft, but the district attorney's office declined to charge them pending further investigation.

SEARHC to close for Easter holiday

JUNEAU - The SEARHC Juneau Medical Center will be closed Sunday for the Easter holiday and reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday.

In case of an emergency, SEARHC patients may call 796-8913 to speak with the SEARHC doctor on call.

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is a Native-run administrator of comprehensive health care for Alaska Natives in Southeast Alaska.

SEARHC has one regional hospital, two sub-regional hospitals and eight rural clinics. This spring, the Juneau Medical Center plans to offer patients designated providers: thirteen health care providers will participate.

For more information, call the operator at 463-4040 or visit http://www.searhc.org.

Disabled fish plant found in compliance

ANCHORAGE - A preliminary inspection of the disabled fish processing ship Independence found it in compliance with safety regulations, Coast Guard officials said Thursday.

The crew of a Coast Guard cutter towing the 325-foot vessel went on board Wednesday after turning it over to a tug, said Petty Officer Gail Sinner. The ship, a floating processor, lost its steering power Monday after a rudder failed in stormy seas in the Gulf of Alaska.

The crew of 204 remains on board. No injuries have been reported.

Coast Guard officers plan to board the ship for a more thorough safety gear inspection after its expected arrival in Hoonah on Friday, said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Jeffries, chief of inspections with the Coast Guard's marine safety office in Juneau.

Man to fight for overturning conviction

FAIRBANKS - A man found guilty of killing his ex-wife and burying her body on property he later moved his new family to is set to appear in Fairbanks court next week to argue that his conviction should be overturned.

Lance Linton contends his attorney coerced him into not testifying at his trial by saying it would hurt his case.

Linton was convicted in 1992 of first-degree murder for the death of his former wife, Elfriede Linton. In January 1993, Superior Court Judge Niesje Steinkruger sentenced him to 75 years in prison.

Next week, Linton is scheduled to fly up from prison in Arizona to appear at a Wednesday evidentiary hearing in front of Steinkruger.

Documents state that Linton was not coerced by his attorney, Nelson Traverso. The file on the case also states the court questioned Linton extensively about whether he understood that he had the right to testify in the trial and that he said at least five times that he did.

The Lintons reportedly were divorced in 1980. When Elfriede Linton refused to leave their two young children, Lance Linton poisoned her in 1982 and buried her body on a remote piece of property along the Steese Highway, prosecutors said.



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