A 19-year-old Fairbanks man wanted for multiple felony arrest warrants escaped custody for the second time in two days Wednesday after Alaska State Troopers and a tactical team tried to arrest him in Delta Junction.
The search for Tyler W. Smith began early Tuesday morning when troopers and Wasilla police tried to take him into custody after finding him in a vehicle at Lake Lucile Park in Wasilla. Smith did not comply with officers’ commands and reversed the vehicle at a high rate of speed. The driver’s side door hit a Wasilla police officer and dragged him several feet before he fell to the ground. The officer was not seriously injured, according to an item posted Tuesday on the trooper website.
Smith fled toward Anchorage and troopers tried to stop him with a spike strip on Trunk Road. Smith drove off the road, jumped a curb and drove toward a trooper who had to take evasive action to avoid being hit.
Anchorage police deployed a spike strip near the exit to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on the Glenn Highway. Smith drove over the spike strip and kept driving until he eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a guardrail near Bootlegger’s Cove west of downtown Anchorage.
Smith fled on foot and escaped despite the use of tracking dogs and the establishment of a perimeter around the site of the crash.
Troopers and the Northern Special Emergency Reaction Team responded to Delta Junction at 8:43 a.m. Wednesday after Smith was tracked to a home on Old Clearwater Trail. Smith tried to leave in a vehicle but ultimately bailed out and fled into the woods on foot. Troopers were unable to find Smith and are seeking the public’s help in finding him.
Troopers did not respond Wednesday to repeated requests by the News-Miner for information about reported trooper activity in Delta Junction and whether it was related to the search for Smith. At 4:23 p.m. Wednesday, troopers issued a public safety Nixle alert for the Delta Junction area warning people to be on the lookout for a 19-year-old, 5-foot-10 white male with brown hair. The alert said the man was wanted and a possible threat to life or property but did not name Smith as the suspect.
Information about the Delta Junction search for Smith was posted on the trooper website at 1:19 p.m. Thursday.
Smith is still at large and anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Fairbanks troopers at 451-5100. Callers can remain anonymous.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582.