Homer Alaska - Police & Court Reports

Story last updated at 2:44 PM on Wednesday, July 18, 2012


July 9

Troopers at approximately 10:40 p.m. received several 911 calls of a plane crash at Beluga Lake in Homer. A trooper responded to the scene. Homer Police Department and Homer Fire Department were contacted and a rescue boat was launched to rescue the individuals on board. Investigation revealed that a float plane piloted by Evan Joe Griffith, 71, of Homer, crashed while landing at Beluga Lake. There were four passengers on board at the time of the crash. All were rescued from the plane. Passenger Cheryll Heinze, 65, of Anchorage, was critically injured in the crash. She succumbed to her injuries while being transported to a hospital.

July 13

Anchor Point Wildlife Troopers received a report of an altercation between boaters about four miles southeast of East Chugach Island in the Lower Cook Inlet. Investigation revealed that a charter boat operated by Steven Button, age 55, of Palmer was fishing near a private fishing vessel about four miles southeast of East Chugach Island in the Lower Cook Inlet. Button became upset that the other vessel was fishing near him and intentionally piloted his boat directly toward the private boat in a manner that made the three occupants think that Button was going to collide with them. Button abruptly changed direction prior to collision (less than 10 feet from the private boat), creating a large wake that traveled over the transom and gunwale of the boat, putting the private boat at a risk of swamping or suffering damage and nearly throwing one of the occupants overboard. This situation placed all three occupants of the private boat in fear of imminent serious physical injury due to the risk of collision or significant damage to their boat. On July 14, troopers contacted Button at the Homer Harbor. He was placed under arrest and remanded at the Homer Jail without bail. He has been charged with three counts of assault in the third degree, one count of reckless endangerment, and one count of prohibited operation of a watercraft.

July 14

Alaska State Troopers at 7:56 p.m. contacted Richard J. Nadeau, 51, of Ninilchik during a driving under the influence investigation near the Ninilchik General Store. Investigation revealed Nadeau was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. Nadeau also failed to provide a breath sample. Nadeau was arrested and remanded to the Homer jail.

July 15

Alaska Wildlife Troopers at Hodgkins Point in Prince William Sound cited Mihael Kuzmin, 19, of Homer for displaying Alaska Department of Fish and Game numbers on the F/V Strike Zone that were not of the correct size and were not of a contrasting color. Bail is set at $210 in Cordova District Court.

Alaska State Troopers on the Kenai Peninsula received multiple Report Every Danger Driver Immediately reports at approximately 5:18 p.m. pertaining to the erratic driving of a yellow SUV. An Alaska Wildlife Trooper spotted the vehicle traveling northbound near Happy Valley along the Sterling Highway about 6:15 p.m. and attempted to make a traffic stop. The female driver did not immediately stop but continued northbound. When the vehicle temporarily stopped, the female driver began shooting. The AWT trooper returned fire. The vehicle then drove northbound and stopped again at mile 147 in the middle of the highway. Troopers from Soldotna and Anchor Point responded along with Homer Police Department and members of the Southcentral Special Emergency Reaction Team. After approximately 30 minutes the female eventually put her hands outside the vehicle and troopers were able to make contact. The female driver was discovered to have an apparent gunshot wound to her torso and was transported to the hospital in Homer for treatment. Alaska Bureau of Investigation investigators responded to the scene and are investigating. The trooper involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave for three days. The troopers name will be released following the administrative leave per department policy. The cause and circumstances of the shooting are under investigation. The Sterling Highway at Mile 147 was closed to traffic in both directions until approximately 1 a.m.. Traffic was allowed through on a limited basis due to the investigation.