Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 19:00

Speeding stolen car elicits major response

A 22-year-old Anchorage man led police on a lengthy chase from North Peters Creek to Trunk Road in the Mat-Su before the whole thing ended back in Chugiak.

An Anchorage police officer patrolling the Glenn Highway at the North Peters Creek exit spotted not one but two stolen vehicles headed north around 11 p.m. on Jan. 21, police spokeswoman Dani Myren said.

One, a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, continued down past Eklutna on the Glenn Highway. The other, a 2005 Chevrolet Classic, left the Glenn at Thunderbird Falls. An officer following that vehicle broke off his pursuit but police eventually found the driver, 31-year-old Joseph Franks of Willow, walking the Old Glenn Highway and arrested him.

But the real action surrounded Benjamin Symons in the Pacifica, according to an account Myren pieced together from reports.

Here’s how Myren told it:

As many as 17 police units became involved in the pursuit as Symons drove to the Valley, got to Trunk Road, turned around and charged back down the Parks and Glenn Highway southbound. Police clocked him at speeds up to 117 mph.

Police spiked the Pacifica at the Eklutna exit, Myren said. But Symons kept driving, even as the car’s tires peeled off all four rims. He eventually lost control on the Old Glenn Highway and was arrested, she said.

Symons was arrested on charges of failure to stop, driving while license suspended, vehicle theft and two outstanding warrants. He was taken to Anchorage Jail on $30,000 bail plus third-party custodian.

It’s unclear whether the two men were working together.


Woman arrested for child abuse

Anchorage police said they arrested a 34-year-old Chugiak woman on charges of assault, child abuse and family violence after she struck a 6-year-old boy on the head with a blunt object. The assault was reported to a teacher who reported the assault to police on Jan. 22, spokeswoman Dani Myren said.


DUI reports

Anchorage police said they arrested Tanya Hughes, 40, of Eagle River for driving under the influence after getting a call about an altercation at a Highland Ridge Drive home around 9:15 p.m. on Jan. 17. Witnesses said they saw Hughes driving and officers found her to be “in control” of the vehicle when they arrived, police spokeswoman Dani Myren said. Hughes’ breath-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, Myren said. She was taken to Anchorage Jail without bail.

In an unrelated DUI, police said they arrested Randy Hoeldt, 56, of Aniak after finding him passed out in his vehicle which had come to a stop in a snowbank around 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. Hoeldt’s breath-alcohol level as more than three times the legal limit. He was taken to Anchorage Jail on $10,000 bail plus third-party custodian.


Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial or until a plea of guilty is accepted by the courts.

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