Anchorage police charged four people with a variety of offenses early Thursday morning, following an overnight car chase that allegedly saw the driver of their stolen sedan strike a police vehicle.
Two men received most of the charges in the incident, with 19-year-old driver Darin Smith facing one count each of first-degree vehicle theft and third-degree assault, as well as two counts each of failure to stop at the direction of an officer and third-degree criminal mischief. Darien Jeter, 20, was charged with one count each of first-degree vehicle theft, fifth-degree criminal mischief and resisting arrest.
Two women, 18-year-old Cynthia Curtis and 19-year-old Anecia Romie, were charged with resisting arrest and issued summons to appear in court. Another 19-year-old woman wasn’t charged and wasn’t named in a police statement on the case Thursday.
APD spokesperson Dani Myren says the incident began at about 7 p.m., when police received a report that a red 2004 Chevrolet Impala had been stolen from outside an East Anchorage business where its owner had left it idling to warm up.
An officer initially tried to pull over a vehicle matching the Impala’s description slightly after 10 p.m. near 36th Avenue and Lake Otis Parkway.
“As soon as the officer activated his overhead lights to conduct a traffic stop, the suspect vehicle started to accelerate away,” Myren wrote. “Once the officer observed the increase in speed he discontinued his attempt to stop the vehicle for safety reasons, and broadcast a locate (request) for the vehicle based on the vehicle description.”
The Impala wasn’t positively identified until two hours later, when another officer encountered it near 36th’s intersection with A Street. After coordinating with other officers, police attempted to stop the car on Denali Street near its intersection with Benson Boulevard.
“Lights and sirens were activated and an attempt was made to detain the suspect/stolen vehicle, with one of the officers pulling in ahead of the suspect/stolen vehicle in an effort to block it,” Myren wrote. “Instead of stopping, the suspect/stolen vehicle swerved toward the officer’s vehicle and accelerated, ramming the occupied patrol vehicle before continuing northbound on Denali Street.”
The chase still didn’t last much longer -- police say the Impala rammed a snowbank on Denali, just north of its intersection with Northern Lights Boulevard. One person stayed with the vehicle, while four others ran away but were quickly taken into custody.
Smith and Jeter were remanded to the Anchorage Jail. Smith’s bail was set at $15,000 cash, with a court-approved third-party custodian required for release, while Jeter’s bail was set at $10,000.
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