Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2001

Downtown robbery under investigation

JUNEAU - A man was robbed Wednesday night by acquaintances offering him a ride, according to police.

The 31-year-old man was downtown when he accepted a ride offered by several people with whom he was remotely acquainted, police said in a press release. They drove him to a parking lot in the downtown area and assaulted him in the vehicle, taking his money, police said. They said no weapons were involved.

The man escaped and flagged down a passerby for help. A police patrol was flagged down at 11:30 p.m. and the victim was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.

The case remains under investigation. Police did not return calls for further details about the incident.

Coast Guard 'bagged' by false alarms

JUNEAU - Three spurious mayday calls came into the U.S. Coast Guard office at the Federal Building about midnight Wednesday.

The distress calls, originally thought genuine, tied up rescue crews for most of today, said Petty Officer Roger Wetherell.

"We dispatched two rescue crews to the Point Retreat area because we were told a boat had hit a submerged object and was taking on water there," Wetherell said. When the crews searched the area, they could find nothing.

"We always harp on the fact that false calls put our rescue crews in danger, put other boats in danger and cost a lot of money. Now all of our rescue crews are unable to respond to any other calls until about 4 p.m. today because they are 'in the bag' required to get proper rest because they have exceeded their hours on the high seas," he said.

The Coast Guard believes the calls, broadcast over VHF Channel 21, marine band radio, were placed from downtown Juneau or Douglas. They are reviewing tapes of the maydays, made by a young male voice. Officials will contact the U.S. Attorney's Office to help investigate the matter, Wetherell said.

Off-duty Kodiak police officer stabbed

KODIAK - An off-duty Kodiak police officer was in stable condition Wednesday after being stabbed multiple times, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Terry Ash, 39, an officer with the Kodiak Police Department, was stabbed early Wednesday after confronting several people who were causing a disturbance outside his home.

The officer was taken by ambulance to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Search dogs were used to scour the area but the suspects had fled by the time they arrived, authorities said.

Alaska State Troopers and city police were investigating.

Fairbanks couple robbed at home

FAIRBANKS - Intruders invaded a home west of Fairbanks early Wednesday, assaulted and restrained a married couple, then stole items before leaving the home ransacked, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Investigator Sgt. Ron Wall said several assailants entered the house with weapons and threatened the young couple. Their toddler slept through the incident.

"The people were obviously intimidated," Wall said. "We're thankful that someone wasn't hurt." After the assailants left, the couple made a 911 call for help, Wall said.

Troopers requested the assistance of state crime lab investigators in combing the scene for evidence, Wall said. "Obviously the propensity of violence and future injury in a case like this is significant," he said.

Teens sentenced for severe beating

ANCHORAGE - Three of four teen-agers convicted of beating a 14-year-old boy into a coma at an Anchorage park last summer were sentenced Wednesday to five-year prison terms.

Gary Wayne Wilson Jr., 18, Lester Mataia, 17, and Ishmael Thompson, 18, were convicted of first-degree assault.

The three teens, and Trayvon Morrissette, 17, kicked and hit the 14-year-old boy last July. The boy had called Morrissette a name during an argument over a bicycle outside a restaurant. Morrissette will be sentenced in September.

"This was a payback for a taunt," said assistant district attorney Hollis French. "There are really two words that capture this crime ... senseless violence."

The victim spent two weeks in the hospital and has permanent brain damage.

Defense attorneys told Superior Court Judge Larry Card that the attack was impulsive and that the three young men did not plan to seriously injure the boy. French argued that the young men planned the assault on the boy and then left him to die.

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