ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - An Anchorage courtroom hearing ended in disarray Monday afternoon, after a Kenai man – engrossed in a more than decade-long legal battle – refused to leave the premises without force. A video of the incident surfaced online, and has since been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Kenai man is tased and arrested at the Anchorage Nesbett Courthouse, on Dec. 18, 2017. (Photo courtesy Ethan Kelso)
"This is our courtroom and we have evidence…. If you want to arrest me and drag me off, that's the only way I'm leaving," declared 51-year-old David Haeg, after the presiding judge ordered everyone out of the courtroom.
Minutes later, Haeg was tased and charged with disorderly conduct.
Haeg initially appeared at the Nesbett Courthouse for a status hearing regarding a case that stems from a 2004 conviction. Attending with him were a crowd of family, friends and supporters.
One attendee stated that the courtroom was so full that people had to wait outside and call in via teleconference.
According to court documents, Haeg was originally convicted for illegally killing wolves near McGrath, while working with a state predator control program. In 2010, Haeg filed for post-conviction relief, alleging that corruption throughout the state’s judicial system has resulted in his case being repeatedly mishandled. He also runs Alaska – State of Corruption, a website that summarizes his accusations.
When the judge closed the case at Monday’s hearing, Haeg asked that all public visitors stay put. He claimed that he was not done speaking, and therefore not leaving. He also yelled, "It’s a conspiracy!"
In an e-mail to KTUU, Haeg wrote, "I don't remember specifically stating I would have to be arrested, but if I did it was because I realized I was going to be deprived of my constitutional right to an evidentiary hearing to prove the items above."
According to a Troopers dispatch report, "multiple attempts" were made to get Haeg to comply with instructions. Eventually, Alaska State Troopers and Court Services Officers tased and arrested him for disorderly conduct.
"There’s no hard and fast rule for deploying a taser [in a courtroom]," said Anchorage Judicial Services Supervisor Lt. Robert French. "It’s situational dependent…. There’s a checklist of escalation such as, 'Is this hostile?'"
Lt. French added that it is standard procedure for three troopers and 24 court service officers to be present in the courthouse. Also on scene was the Anchorage Police Department for crowd control.
"It was pretty traumatic," Haeg said, reflecting on the incident. "But court security officials did no more than necessary to prevent me from testifying about the constitutional violations above."
After the video ended, Haeg said he was escorted to a holding cell, where he had his wounds photographed.
"I was in pain," he told KTUU. "My legs and back are covered in large welts, as a result of being tased so many times – approximately 10."
Haeg also said he asked to speak with both the Trooper Sergeant – in charge of courtroom security – and the Trooper who tased him.
"At my request, I talked at length… about my right to enforce constitutional rights versus their duty to maintain courtroom safety."
Following, Haeg said he was taken to the Anchorage Jail and charged with disorderly conduct. He said he was released by approximately 8 p.m.
Online court records indicate that Haeg’s new charge is still pending. He is expected back in court in a month’s time.