The Public Safety Report is compiled from criminal complaints filed in state and federal courts, as well as some police blotter information, trooper dispatches, fire department reports and interviews with public safety officials. Individuals named as arrested and/or charged with crimes in this report are presumed innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.
Ronald Joe Shepherd, 45, no address given, was charged with fourth-degree assault and disorderly conduct Aug. 17 after an Alaska State Trooper stopped a Chevrolet sedan for speeding and tailgating the trooper patrol vehicle on the Parks Highway near Denali National Park. According to charging documents, the trooper also saw a male passenger in Shepherd’s vehicle throwing popcorn out of the window of his Chevy sedan. The passenger admitted to throwing popcorn, bananas and “biodegradable stuff” out of the window but refused to give the trooper any identification. The trooper went back to his vehicle to request backup and was on the radio when the passenger, later identified as Shepherd, got out of the sedan and began walking toward him with his right hand behind his back. Shepherd called the trooper a derogatory name and yelled that the trooper couldn’t tell him what to do, according to charging documents. The trooper pulled his firearm and called for a response from troopers and park rangers nearby.
The trooper told Shepherd to wait in the sedan and Shepherd replied, “Shut up, you work for me.” Shepherd continued to walk toward the trooper while yelling “(expletive) you” multiple times. The trooper holstered his gun and pulled his Taser after Shepherd’s right hand came into view and was not holding a gun. Shepherd had a knife clipped to his pant’s cargo pocket and kept approaching the trooper with his fists clenched and raised. Shepherd stopped and the trooper handcuffed him. Shepherd smelled strongly of alcohol and his mood cycled rapidly from compliance to yelling vulgarities to physically resisting the trooper. He was identified by a set of dog tags around his neck. While waiting for backup, Shepherd kept telling the trooper to “take off your uniform and come find me,” according to the charges. The driver of the sedan told the trooper that Shepherd had been drinking, was on medication and suffers from PTSD.
Ruth Evelyn Wade, 66, of Fairbanks, was charged with driving under the influence and fifth-degree drugs misconduct Aug. 17 after Alaska State Troopers and a park ranger responded to a fight in progress at the Chena Wayside recreation site. They contacted Wade in an involved vehicle at the Teddy Bear Plaza parking lot. Wade smelled strongly of marijuana and was speaking rapidly, according to charging documents. She admitted to smoking marijuana about an hour ago and said it was very “intense.” Wade failed field sobriety tests and registered a breath-alcohol content of 0.000. A search of her vehicle yielded a “tooter” straw, super glue and 0.87 grams of methamphetamine.