Story last updated at 2:38 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

Troopers face guns in Anchor Point
by Chris Bernard
Staff Writer

Alaska State Troopers arrested two men in Anchor Point last week, defusing a domestic disturbance situation that could have proved much worse.

"He complied with our demands and came out without incident. It was a good thing."

--Tom Dunn, Alaska State Troopers

Troopers received a 911 call shortly after midnight on Nov. 29 reporting a domestic disturbance in progress at Mile 6.5 North Fork Road.

The caller reported that her boyfriend, John Todd Rantala, 47, had assaulted her and was in a trailer on the property.

She said Rantala had a firearm and was threatening to shoot her and her two children, according to trooper Tom Dunn, who was one of three troopers who responded.

Rantala also threatened to shoot any troopers who responded to the scene, Dunn said.

"Our priority is to protect life and property, period," Dunn said. "If we can't protect ourselves, we can't do either of those things."

Positioning one car between the residence and the trailer and the other cars in strategic locations to provide cover, the troopers called Rantala out of the trailer.

"He complied with our demands and came out without incident," Dunn said. "It was a good thing."

The troopers also arrested Kenneth Boyle, 57, of Ninilchik, who apparently was with Rantala, on concealed weapons charges.

"Mr. Boyle had a loaded handgun concealed on his person, and no permit to conceal," Dunn said. "Alaska state law also prohibits the possession of any firearms at any time while intoxicated."

During the course of their investigation, troopers determined that Rantala had assaulted his girlfriend and her children.

In the complaint, Dunn said Rantala's girlfriend accused Rantala of threatening to kill her with an SKS rifle and a pistol.

The children said Rantala had grabbed their mother by the throat and strangled her with both hands before chasing her outside with a gun and threatening to kill her. They also said there has been unreported physical violence between their mother and Rantala in the past.

In Rantala's trailer, troopers found a loaded SKS assault rifle with a round in the chamber and an unloaded pistol.

He was charged with one count of third-degree domestic violence assault, and three counts of fourth-degree domestic assault assault.

"Mr. Rantala showed several signs of intoxication," Dunn said. In his report, he said that Rantala said he'd argued with his girlfriend after he'd returned home from a bar, and that the argument happened because she did not listen to him.

Chris Bernard can be reached at cbernard@homer news.com.

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