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.
• A North Pole man was charged with second-degree felony assault after Alaska State Troopers were called to a domestic disturbance at an apartment on O’Neal Road in North Pole early Sunday morning.
Matthew D. Hinds, 29, is accused of choking his wife following an argument about his excessive drinking, according to charging documents.
Troopers arrived at 2:32 a.m. and found the woman with red marks around her neck. She told troopers the couple was arguing about his drinking when she pushed him twice outside the apartment. Hinds allegedly became very upset as they entered the apartment and walked up behind the woman and put his right forearm around her neck, applying enough pressure so she could not breathe or tell him to stop, the woman said. She tried to pry his arm loose but could not. The next thing she remembered, the woman told troopers, is waking up on the bathroom floor and vomiting several times after being choked.
Hinds told troopers the couple had been arguing when his wife walked up to him and grabbed him by the shirt collar and put her hands around his neck. He said he pushed her down, causing her to fall on the ground. Hinds told troopers he was very upset and punched two mirrors in the house, cutting his hand in the process.
Troopers determined Hinds was the principal aggressor in the altercation and arrested him on a felony assault charge.
• Feliciano Hinojosa, 40, of Fairbanks, was charged with fourth-degree assault and fifth-degree criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, for allegedly threatening his roommate and kicking a door in. The roommate called troopers at 1:05 a.m. Sunday to report that Hinojosa was intoxicated and out of control. He told troopers he had picked Hinojosa up earlier and brought him home, at which point Hinojosa started yelling at him.
The man said he locked himself in the bedroom but Hinojosa kicked the door in and kept yelling at him to get out of the house. At one point, Hinojosa picked the man up off the bed and the man thought Hinojosa was going to hit him “like the last time,” he told police. The man said he called 911 to prevent things from escalating. Police found the door’s lock broken on the floor and the door frame was broken. Records showed that Hinojosa assaulted the same man almost a year ago.
• Pamela L. Kehres, 47, of North Pole, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching her teenage daughter in the jaw and accosting her husband.
The husband called North Pole police on Friday to report Kehres was screaming in his face, flailing her arms and pushing him around the house, according to a criminal complaint. He told police he felt as if Kehres was trying to get him to hit her and said he was afraid she was going to punch him.
The couple’s daughter tried to get Kehres to stop by stepping in between them and Kehres punched her in the face hard enough that she bit the inside of her cheek, causing swelling and minor lacerations on the inside of her mouth.
• A Fairbanks man who called police to report his wife was hitting him with hockey sticks ended up being charged with misdemeanor assault.
Tee Kerr, 28, of Fairbanks, was arrested and charged with fourth-degree misdemeanor assault for allegedly pushing his wife up against a dresser and striking her in the face with his knee, according to charging documents.
Fairbanks police were called to a Eureka Avenue residence at 5:35 p.m. for a report of a domestic disturbance. They arrived to find Kerr’s wife with red marks no her arm and back, as well as swelling under her left eye. The woman told police she tried to wake up Kerr, who was passed out in their two sons’ room, and he became angry and began calling her derogatory names. The woman said Kerr pushed her up against a dresser and then grabbed her by the hair and walked her downstairs. She told police he struck her in the face with his knee as he held onto the back of her hair. The woman said she tried to fend Kerr off with her kids’ hockey sticks and forced him out the back door and locked it. Kerr tried to force his way back into the house by kicking the door before calling police to report his wife was hitting him with four hockey sticks.
Police said Kerr had an abrasion on the inside of his right arm that appeared to be consistent with holding someone while they resisted. He also had a bloody nose. Kerr admitted to waking up in a bad mood because he was tired.
• James Wayne Ketzler, 55, of Nenana, was arrested and charged with fourth-degree misdemeanor assault following an argument with his brother, who had told Ketzler he was not showing him any respect even though it was his house and Ketzler had been staying there for a month. Ketzler became angry and struck him in the face, according to charging documents. The brother had a red lump next to his right eye. Ketzler admitted the two argued but denied hitting his brother.
• Sherie Melinda Smith, 21, of Fort Wainwright, was arrested on a charge of fourth-degree misdemeanor assault on Saturday by Fort Wainwright police. Smith is accused of kicking her husband in the shin and slapping him in the face, causing scratches, cuts and redness to the left side of his face. According to charging documents, the husband said Smith was drinking and the two began arguing when things turned physical.
• Donald Charles Kellogg, 44, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol Saturday night after nearly causing an accident in the parking lot of the Safeway gas station on the Old Steese Highway and yelling at the couple he almost hit.
According to charging documents, a woman had just turned into the gas station and signaled a left turn to go to the gas pumps when Kellogg attempted to pass her on the left in a white 2003 Ford F-150. The woman had to hit her brakes to avoid a collision, she told police. Kellogg swerved around her on the right, spun his tires and pulled in front of the Smoke Shop. Kellogg got out of his truck and yelled something at the woman’s husband, according to charging documents. The man walked over to Kellogg’s vehicle, at which point Kellogg began “a belligerent and incoherent tirade.” The man told Kellogg he was going to call the police because he suspected he was driving under the influence.
At that point, Kellogg walked away from the truck toward the Bentley Mall. The man followed Kellogg and gave updates to dispatchers as to his whereabouts. At one point, Kellogg told dispatchers the man stopped to urinate in the parking lot.
Police arrived and determined Kellogg, who admitted he drank too much to be driving, was intoxicated. Kellogg failed two of three field sobriety tests and had a breath-alcohol content of 0.131 percent.
• Johnny Shane Skocelas, 21, of Fairbanks, was arrested on a charge of DUI early Sunday after a Fairbanks police officer observed him driving erratically. A patrol officer was sitting at a red light at Cushman Street and Airport Way at about 1:20 a.m. when he heard an engine revving several times. The officer looked to his left and saw a 2004 GMC Sierra driven by Skocelas sliding sideways northbound on Stacia Street, according to charging documents. The truck slid into the parking lot of Thrifty Liquor and the driver spun the tires and began driving south on Stacia Street.
The officer pulled the vehicle over and Skocelas appeared to be intoxicated, though he denied drinking. Skocelas failed field sobriety tests and had a breath-alcohol content of 0.111 percent.
• Alaska State Troopers arrested Brian M. Hastings, 24, of Jessieville, Ark. on a DUI charge Saturday night as a result of a traffic stop. Troopers stopped Hastings at 10:29 p.m. when he failed to stop at a stop sign entering Peger Road from Standard Avenue, according to a criminal complaint.
Hastings displayed signs of intoxication and admitted to drinking two or three beers earlier. Hastings failed one field sobriety tests and refused to perform others citing a knee injury. He registered a breath-alcohol content of 0.079 percent.
• Ryan A. Ratliff, 24, of Fairbanks, was arrested and charged with DUI and driving with a revoked license following a traffic stop early Sunday. Troopers stopped Ratliff at 3:16 a.m. after he nearly caused a head-on collision on University Avenue by driving the wrong way, according to charging documents. Ratliff exhibited signs of intoxication and admitted drinking and driving. He had a breath-alcohol content of 0.145 percent.
• A Fairbanks woman who was sitting in her SUV arguing with three security guards at Kodiak Jack’s bar on Cushman Street was arrested and charged with DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical breath test after a Fairbanks police officer saw the scene unfolding and stopped to investigate early Saturday morning.
Police contacted Julie Ann Chambers-Cook, 45, who had been involved in an altercation with a man inside the bar and was arguing with security guards when police stopped. Chambers-Cook was sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2004 GMC Yukon with the keys in the ignition. It was 3:16 a.m.
Chambers-Cook told police she had driven to Kodiak Jack’s from the Arctic Bar and was about to drive home. She appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol, according to charging documents. Chambers-Cook admitted to drinking and failed field sobriety tests. She rated her intoxication level at 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst. Chambers-Cook could not stand without wobbling or falling, police said. Chambers-Cook refused to provide a breath sample because she said she wasn’t driving. She was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for a blood test.
Chambers-Cook was also charged with fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons because she failed to immediately notify police she had a loaded .45-caliber pistol under the seat.
• Fairbanks police arrested Luis Anibal Menjivar, 38, of Fairbanks, on charges of DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical breath test as a result of a traffic stop at 3:22 a.m. Sunday. An officer following Menjivar on Noble Street said Menjivar’s vehicle swerved halfway into the center turn lane twice and he failed to stop at a red light at Noble Street and Airport Way. The officer also said Menjivar made a right turn into the outside lane and had a delayed reaction at a red light when it turned green at Cushman Street and Airport Way.
When the officer activated his lights and siren to pull him over, Menjivar continued driving down Airport Way until he turned onto Cowles Street and stopped. The officer “could clearly see he was intoxicated,” according to a criminal complaint filed in court. Menjivar had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. He told police he had drank only one beer at the Arctic Bar.
Menjivar failed one field sobriety test and was deemed too intoxicated to perform others. He refused to perform a breath test. The investigating officer said that out of the hundreds of DUI arrests he has made, Menjivar’s ranked in the top 10 of the most impaired drivers he has seen, according to charging documents.
• David Joseph Rupp, Jr., 45, of Fairbanks, was charged with DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical breath test following a traffic stop early Sunday morning. A Fairbanks police officer doing stop sign enforcement began following Rupp after he noticed Rupp take an inordinate amount of time to turn after stopping at a stop sign at 27th Avenue and South Cushman Street even though there was no oncoming traffic. The officer followed Rupp and pulled him over at 1:44 a.m. when he made an illegal left turn into the Holiday gas station.
According to court documents, Rupp exhibited signs of intoxication that included bloodshot, watery eyes; slurred speech; droopy eyelids and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Rupp told the officer he had just come from the Club Manchu, where he drank two beers. Rupp failed field sobriety tests but refused a chemical breath test, for which he was also charged.
A Fairbanks resident on Marika Drive reported the theft of several tools and weapons from his vehicle. The items were taken sometime between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. on Monday while the vehicle was parked in front of the residence.