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.



• Vernon Charles Stickman, 62, of Tanana, was charged with felony third-degree assault Dec. 7 after Alaska State Troopers responded to a report of a man with a knife at the Extended Stay America Hotel lobby. Stickman ignored commands to keep his hands visible and was handcuffed and detained. Stickman was intoxicated and unable to provide intelligible statements about a man in black and something about a gun, according to charging documents. Troopers spoke to a guest at the hotel who said he was wearing a black parka and balaclava when Stickman confronted him with a knife in the lobby. The guest said he told Stickman he “shouldn’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” 

• Rachael N. Okpeah, 39, of Fairbanks, was charged with fourth-degree assault Dec. 7 after Fairbanks police responded to a report of a verbal domestic dispute at the Bunnell Street Apartments. According to charging documents, Okpeah’s boyfriend was in a bedroom and talking to two people via Facetime who said they saw Okpeah beating the man. Okpeah’s boyfriend was initially belligerent but later said Okpeah flipped a plastic table over and hit him in the face with it. 

• Brianna Ledawn Sanford, 28, of Fairbanks, was charged with fourth-degree assault Dec. 7 after Alaska State Troopers responded to the Extended Stay America Hotel for a report of a man and woman yelling and tossing items around in one of the rooms. Troopers contacted Sanford and her boyfriend in their room. Both said they were just arguing, but the man had fresh scratches on his neck, chest and arms, according to charging documents. The man said he was injured in a fall. Sanford said he got the scratches during sex. The man later said Sanford ripped his shirt off of him earlier that day, then bought him a new one. When she returned with the shirt, “all hell broke loose,” according to the man. Sanford ripped the new shirt off of him, scratching him in the process. The man didn’t want Sanford to go to jail and told troopers she only gets violent when she drinks, according to the charges.


Multiple charges 

Justin David Costello, 42, of Fairbanks, was charged with two counts of felony third-degree assault, fifth-degree drugs misconduct, disorderly conduct and nine counts of violating conditions of release Dec. 6. According to charging documents, Costello brandished a sword at police and entered a nearby store with it. Costello then pointed a butcher knife at police and was taken into custody after officers deployed a Taser. The sword was 2 feet long with a serrated edge and the butcher knife was approximately 1 foot long. A records check showed Costello was on conditions of release for five separate case. A baggie of crystalline powder found in Costello’s pants tested positive for methamphetamines.