Smearing name allegedly spurs Valley fight

Two arrested after brawl that led to breaking of a police car window

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2004

A dispute over one man using another's name during a drunken driving arrest led to two men being jailed early Thursday on assault charges and one allegedly kicking the window out of a police car.

The fight allegedly involved five people and a baseball bat. Thursday afternoon, David Gene Hamilton, 22, appeared in Juneau District Court on two counts of third-degree assault. Eric Ryan Kellar, 22, was charged with one count of third-degree assault and one count of criminal mischief.

The two were arrested after a fight at a Mendenhall Valley apartment complex parking lot just after midnight Thursday, Police Sgt. Ed Mercer said. The precise location was not disclosed.

The fight stemmed from an incident a month ago, when Timothy James Ackerman, 22, allegedly used Hamilton's name when arrested for drunken driving, according to court records and police reports.

Court records show Ackerman was arrested Aug. 7, after he walked out of a Front Street bar and tried to use a screwdriver to start a car without an ignition at about 2:30 a.m. Ackerman, who appeared to be intoxicated, identified himself as Hamilton, the officer said.

When Hamilton's mother, who believed her son was fishing with her father, read in the Empire of her son's reported drunken driving arrest, she went to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center to look for him, according to court records. She informed officers that the jailed man was Ackerman.

The drunken driving charges against Hamilton were dropped. Ackerman was charged with drunken driving, refusing a breath test, driving with a license suspended or revoked and providing false information to police.

The Empire could not reach Ackerman for comment Thursday.

Police, who are not allowed to identify victims, did not name Ackerman as being at the scene of Thursday's incident. They said his previous actions are believed to have started the fight.

After interviews at the scene of the fight, police reported that they believe Hamilton and Kellar hit two of the other men in the head with the bat. Of the three alleged victims, two were 22 and one was 23.

Mercer said Kellar kicked out the rear window of a patrol car after he was placed in the back seat before he and Hamilton were taken to the state prison.

Capital City Fire and Rescue personnel responded and treated two people for injuries at the fight scene.

Magistrate John W. Sivertsen Jr. said the charges against Hamilton and Kellar could each carry a sentence of up to five years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Sivertsen set the bail for each at $1,000, with the understanding that they would live with their mothers and stay home at night if released.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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