Standoff shuts down Ft. Richardson exit

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 13:33
A pair of police vehicles block the southbound entrance to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Aug. 18. A standoff with an armed man caused the exit to shut down for about four hours.

A standoff with an armed and suicidal man on Aug. 18 near the Ft. Richardson exit on the Glenn Highway ended peacefully with the man’s surrender.

According to the Anchorage Police Department, 23-year-old Joseph Hanifin was charged with reckless endangerment and lodged at the Anchorage Jail with a $5,000 cash-only bail and $1,500 assurity bond.

Police said they were notified at around 6:15 a.m. that Hanfin’s father was concerned after his son made suicidal threats. Joseph Hanfin drove away from his residence on East 12th Avenue in Anchorage and allegedly texted family members with messages threatening to kill himself.

According to police, patrol units in Eagle River spotted a vehicle matching the description at around 8:40 a.m. Officers followed Hanifin, who eventually exited at Fort Richardson, where he was blocked in.

Police shut down the on- and off-ramps into Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and also evacuated a guard shack and visitor’s booth.

Nearly 30 officers responded to the standoff, which ended around 1 p.m. as officers with the department’s SWAT team were preparing to attempt to remove Hanifin from the vehicle.

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