Homer Police on Monday charged an Anchor Point man with first-degree arson, a felony, for burning a fishing boat in dry dock at the Northern Enterprises Boatyard on Oct. 29.
Police allege Mike Makai Martushoff, 58, intentionally set his father's boat, the Slava II, on fire in an attempt to kill himself. The $240,000 boat had major damage, but firefighters kept the fire from spreading to nearby boats. The Slava II was not insured.
Martushoff suffered burn injuries and has been hospitalized since then. Police filed charges to get an arrest warrant for Martushoff in anticipation of his release soon from an Anchorage hospital.
In an affidavit, Homer Police Sgt. Lary Kuhns described the incident in which police tried to negotiate with Martushoff at the boat yard. Police went to the boat yard after his sister made a 911 call about 8:10 p.m. Oct. 29 saying that Martushoff wanted to burn down his father's boat and kill himself. Police officers approached the Slava II and heard a loud bang and smelled a flammable liquid. Martushoff yelled from inside the boat that he had a shotgun, and police retreated to safety.
Over the next four hours, police made 34 calls by cell phone to Martushoff in an attempt to get him to surrender. Martushoff told them he had issues with his father over a will. He asked police to shoot him and said he would come out with a shotgun so they would have to shoot him. About 1 a.m. Oct. 30 police heard and saw an explosion on the Slava II. Martushoff came out unarmed about 1:12 a.m. and was taken into custody and treated by medics.
In the affidavit, Kuhns said he interviewed Martushoff's family and their lawyer. The father had filed several civil suits against his son. Kuhns alleged Martushoff threatened to kill his father and the attorney and burn down their houses. Kuhns asked for the arrest warrant out of concern for the safety of the family and the lawyer.
The Center, Homer's community mental health service, offers 24-hour crisis services for people thinking about suicide or concerned about family members contemplating suicide. People can visit The Center at 3948 Ben Walters Lane 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. After hours, they can call 911 or South Peninsula Hospital at 235-0247, or visit the emergency room at the hospital to speak to an on-call mental health worker.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.