JPD arrests assault suspect

Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Juneau Police Department officers responded to a report of two males fighting in a Mall Road business parking lot near noon on Tuesday and a caller reported a handgun was involved.

Arriving JPD Sergeant Paul Hatch said he observed a Chevy pickup parked behind the Foreign Auto building on Mall Road, several people standing around the truck and an audible argument between the driver of the truck and bystanders.

"The suspect of the call had gotten in his truck and was trying to run people over," Hatch said. "They were not trying to physically restrain him or stop him. There were verbal accusations and yelling."

The driver of the truck accelerated toward the bystanders and then backed away. The truck began to drive away and then backed toward the bystanders again, causing them to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. The driver then sped away at a high rate of speed.

Three responding police vehicles located the truck leaving Mall Road turning onto Loop Road and conducted a traffic stop.

"You make a tactical approach," Hatch said of knowing the driver may have a firearm. "Our responding officers did their job professionally and paid attention to details."

Officer Tanya James initiated the traffic stop and was joined by two other vehicles. Officers stood with guns drawn while James ordered the suspect, 41-year-old Zachary Moeser, out of the Chevy truck and back towards them.

According to Hatch, Moeser was taken into custody without incident and a handgun was recovered from the pickup.

Moeser was placed under arrest and lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on seven counts of third-degree assault, three counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of harassment.

"There were four different victims he used threatening behavior of a firearm on," Hatch said. "Basically our understanding is a belief on Mr. Moeser's behalf that the original victim was saying some derogatory remarks about him."

Investigations and interviews at the scene revealed that Moeser had entered Foreign Auto and confronted a 41-year-old worker, Hatch said. During a discussion Moeser produced a small-caliber handgun, pointed it at the worker and three other individuals while being verbally abusive and threatening.

According to Hatch, Moeser put the gun away but continued in a verbal confrontation.

Moeser and the original victim then went out to the parking lot where a physical struggle started. Moeser then got into his truck and that was when JPD arrived.

Moeser will be arraigned in Juneau court today.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at

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