Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moose Pass Journal/ Seward Cases/ 7/24/2011

Bill Says: Even off season there were times when a routine 8-hour shift could quickly become 12-14 hours, especially when a particular set of brothers were out committing some serious felonies.

I was working the 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift and Officer Doug was working an overlap from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. As of about 1 a.m., it had been a pretty normal night; the occasional bar call, a domestic disturbance and driving up and down the alleys to ensure no had parked in one and blocked off a fire engine from responding if needed. Yes, we had the knucklehead who thought blocking an alley was cool and we would often tow them away if we couldn't find the driver and that cool clown got to pay a hefty towing and impound charge.

Anyway, that night we got a report of a sexual assault and the victim was at the hospital. Doug and I responded to find out the adult female had been kidnapped, taken to Camelot's mountainside subdivision outside of Seward and raped. I can really applaud this woman, for she was one fantastic witness and of a firm resolve. We needed to call in a trooper since it was out of town and Corporal Mike came into handle the victim, while Doug and I went to the scene to gather evidence with the trooper. We found the spot she identified and sure enough, we found the evidence; a couple wrenches and cigarette butts, along with tire tracks and some other trash. We had the suspect identified within two hours and arrested him at his home. Big surprise- this was his third offense and he'd been convicted on the first two.

Later that night, just before Doug was going to call it and go home, we drove down the alley behind the business district and I spotted the back door to the Seward Coffee Shop ajar. Now my wife will say I could spot an open window or door from a 100 yards away and speeding by at 50 mph, but when I got home I couldn't see anything that needed picked up or a dirty dish needing to be washed. All I can say is that I turned the old radar off when I got home.

Doug and I approached the door and found that it had been forced. We notified the dispatcher and asked her to call the owners to come down. Doug and I entered, weapons drawn, to check out the facility. It had been closed since 9 p.m. and wasn't due to open until 5 a.m.  We checked the first floor and didn't find anyone, but we did find an empty cash box lying on the kitchen floor. We then went downstairs to the basement level, used for supplies mostly. While Doug checked the walk-in freezers out, I walked into the restroom. I'm still not sure what I heard exactly, but maybe it was the guy's fear and a gulp in his throat. But I kicked the stall door open and found our suspect standing on the toilet with a butcher knife in his hand and a look of fright on his face. Staring at my revolver might have done that, but he soon dropped the knife and I placed him under arrest without further incident. Our arrival had really messed up with his burglary. I also recognized the guy, he was the younger brother to the man we had just arrested for sexual assault only hours earlier.

Being his third conviction for sexual assault and first conviction for kidnapping, the judge sentenced the man to 99 years for the rape and one day for the kidnapping. But he did it in such a way that the man must serve the 99 yrs before he could serve the one day. So, he has no chance of parole. We owe this to the testimony of a courageous victim and she is alive today because of her bravery. She was able to talk the man out of killing her. The man later said he'd never let another victim live, but I don't think we have to worry about it.

The younger brother got five years for his burglary and 5 years additional probation. He had an extensive juvenile record. There was also another younger brother, but I believe he was going to be all right. Their mom was of course pretty shook up and that was understandable. But had this first man been serving out his original sentence for his second rape, he would've still been in jail and our victim would not have to live with that terrible memory.

After I got hurt on duty, (I'm not going into that),I was off for awhile and allowed to come back as a part-time investigator to handle bad check cases. Within a couple of weeks I was working 8-10 hour shifts and handling all the felony investigations. I had to wear this fiberglass chest and back brace, which was strapped together at the sides like a giant clam shell. I had my revolver attached to one side, which thrilled the doctor and he took photos of it. Me, I hated the thing. But I was working again and that's what I wanted. Pretty soon I was solving 82% of the felony investigations and my sarcastic lieutenant asked me how I was doing so well. I told him I was taking my cases back into my room and praying over them. Then he asked why I couldn't solve the other 18% and I told him I must have not been giving my full attention to the Lord. He was later convicted of DWI by one of his own officers and fired from his job.


We had this major case going on in the harbor, where a suspect or suspects had broken into 44 boats and stole everything from electronics to weapons off these boats and no one had seen a thing. The boat owners were getting upset. I had two men running observation from the masts of boats, freezing their hind ends off and still nothing. I knew this man lived on one of the boats, but so many people were spending the winters on their vessels. I picked up some evidence here and there and spent many an hour walking the docks late at night. Well, to keep this short, we finally caught the 21-year old and yes, he lived on one of the boats. I recovered about 2% of the stolen property and found out that he had tossed some of the stuff into the harbor.

The boat owners wanted him badly and someone, not sure who, even sunk the boat he was living on. Though it wasn't his boat and it cost the harbor some money to get the old wooden sail boat moved to the shore- it was toast. Too old and too brittle. We had to protect our prisoner and he eventually got 8-years for his actions.

I was then asked to handle an investigation involving a double burglary. The responding officer had left me with a one page report and I wasn't happy. Because the two homes were occupied at the time of the burglaries and the victims were city councilmen, I was told by the Chief that if I solved these and got the property back, he'd keep me on board as the department investigator- even with my new physical disability. I thought, "WOW!" but he lied and I should've known it at the time. During my investigations I was contacted by Anchorage Police and as a result I was assisting in an investigation of my boss. I believe he found out.

But with the Lord's help I solved the double burglary, recovered the property and got a full confession from the 24 year old. He had a record for such actions and got 10-years, mainly because he had entered homes that were occupied and the judge knew this could've been a very dangerous situation. Anyway, the Chief called me in and said he couldn't use me anymore and I was gone. I got a job at the boat harbor, working for a great harbormaster. The Chief never got the Anchorage police Chief's position.

They brought me back, with my permission to work 2-weeks of investigation concerning the termination of an employee in the city electrical department. The lieutenant, who had a strong dislike for the man, did less than an 8 hour investigation and told the city they had grounds to fire him- so they did and he was getting ready to bring wrongful termination suit against the city. The man had claimed a lot of overtime during the 1986 flood of Seward and the allegations were he didn't work them. Since I was still working for the city, at the harbor, I agreed to come back. I worked for two weeks and showed that true, the man had not worked the overtime he declared. BUT, when fired, the lieutenant did not have these facts and they had fired the man before having all the facts. The city had to hire the man back and he won a suit for $300,000. All because the lieutenant disliked the man so much and jumped too fast. The city was not too happy with me for uncovering this and I was sent back to the harbor.

I really liked the harbormaster and by handling his overdue accounts and bad checks, I was able to collect over $500,000 in long over due fees from shipping companies and boat owners. The paperwork was there, it just needed organized and someone to hound the people and bring them to small claims.  I next found work as the City of Whittier Public Safety Director... a sleepy little community...until the Exxon Valdez hit a rock.

As the saying goes, police work is 90% boredom and paperwork and then you have 10% of sheer adrenalin rush. All for now.

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