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Man arrested for K-Beach hit and run

Posted: April 23, 2012 - 8:29am

Further investigation into the Tuesday hit-and-run accident on Kalifornsky Beach Road has led to the arrest of John Lee Smith, 56, of Nikiski.

Alaska States Troopers named Smith as the driver and sole occupant of the Toyota SUV that struck 7-year-old Talia Tepp and then fled the scene.

At 10:35 a.m., troopers, with the assistance of the United States Marshal Service, arrested Smith on an outstanding arrest warrant for probation violations on the original charges of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Smith additionally has been charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident and third-degree assault.

He remains at Wildwood Pretrial Facility, where he is being held without bail pending arraignment

The hit-and-run accident occurred Tuesday at 6:25 p.m. Troopers and Central Emergency Services responded and found an injured girl. Tepp was receiving treatment from a passing motorist at the time.

Tepp was taken to Central Peninsula Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and was expected to recover.

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kenaibear2001
119
Points
kenaibear2001 04/23/12 - 08:17 pm
0
1
Wondering

Why do the Troopers need help from the Marshal's Service? Anyone else notice the mix of enforcement agencies involved in recent arrests. The Peninsula needs a Sheriff, which would make all the other agencies Impotent!

sioux224
3
Points
sioux224 04/23/12 - 10:40 pm
0
0
United States Marshal Service?

Are the United States Marshal Service stationed in our town? or are they on call? and from where??? Since when has our small town of soldotna, kenai not been able to use our own state troopers and city police to solve a problem in our community. I dont know about anyone else, but there seems to be many more police in our town lately than ever before. Whats with that?

ItGirl
8
Points
ItGirl 04/24/12 - 01:52 am
0
0
A matter of jurisdiction

I suspect it is a matter of jurisdiction. There are layers of jurisdiction in the US. Depending on what kind of charges are applied to the offense. State, Federal, etc. Many federal officers are commissioned to apply federal and/or state violations based on the details of the case. Whereas, State Troopers can only apply Alaska Statutes. Yes, there are Federal Marshals as well as commissioned federal officers assigned this task as a dual responsibility.

Example: As in the Samantha Koenig case in Anchorage. The state of Alaska does not have a death penalty. But the federal government does, so applying a federal offense to the sicko will enable the case to be tried with the death penalty as a possibility.

anrsvc
14
Points
anrsvc 04/24/12 - 08:39 am
1
0
US Marshal

There were other charges as well as probation violations for Mr. Smith. It is suspected that this is why he left the child for dead - that he did not want to be arrested. There is a fugitive taskforce in the state that is comprised of local, state, and federal agents. It is a cooperative approach for dealing with absconders, fugitives, and others who would compromise public safety. If it proves out that Smith accidently hit this child but cared so little for the welfare of the child that he would just drive away, he would likely hurt or kill anybody stay free.

to ItGirl: The issue is probably not sentencing guidelines, but the elements of the crime. If the crime involves murder - there are state as well as federal statutes that cover that. In this case, there were also crimes that involved interstate commerce. He used debit cards fraudulently to further the crimes committed in Alaska. This use of cards involves interstate commerce and is also covered under 18 USC (US Criminal Statute). So it was most likely the elements of the crimes that were committed by Koenig's alleged murderer that allowed for a federal nexus.

As for me, I am glad that there were additional resources tasked to find John Smith as well as Israel Keyes (Koenig's alleged murderer). I would be willing to bet that there is also a 7 year old child out there as well as her family that there were additional resources brought to bear to catch this dangerous man.

radiokenai
560
Points
radiokenai 04/24/12 - 09:44 am
1
0
Just perhaps....
Unpublished

They put extra resources on the beat for quick capture to save bodily harm against little Johnny. I think every red blooded Peninsulite from Greycliff to Clam Gulch had their crosshairs set on license plate DYE-xxx!

Needless to say, Little Johnny got off lucky! Yet still, I wonder how Little Johnny is going to fair behind bars? Even hardcore, lifer-felons have a code: No snitches and harm no children.

Good luck Little Johnny, ironically you may learn the definition of "Hit and Run" from your fellow cell mates!

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 04/24/12 - 10:26 am
1
0
Law Enforcement

"1st Cav" ansvc 1st of All, I want to say THANK YOU to Our State Troopers & the US Marshall Service for catching this Felony Conviction & Parole Violation !

You probably are already aware of this but anytime a Federal Agency is mentioned the Locals get Up-Set. They are convinced that anything w/ the word Federal has got to be evil.

Got a Question ? Why can't Law Enforcement explain to a local neighborhood What is involved when we are instructed to return to Our Homes & Lock the Doors, Get Our Children Inside & Keep Them Inside ?
Why can't Law Enforcement explain WHY that is necessary ?

That's always been a puzzle to me ?

SPW"Airborne"

anrsvc
14
Points
anrsvc 04/24/12 - 08:26 pm
0
0
RE: Law Enforcement

Hey Airborne,

Well, it is not much different than issues that you dealt with in the military. Operational Security is an important aspect of fighting crime as well. This is not always the case when law enforcement is asking people to stay indoors. People come from all walks of life. If for instance, law enforcement were to go into a community looking for a suspect, it might be a good idea to limit information in order to reduce panic. Panic produces a lot of different reactions from people. Some people go into hiding. Some people get out their guns and shoot at anything that moves. Others respond much more reasonably.

I personally feel that in most situations it is prudent to let people know what is going on. Most people react much better if they are informed as to the circumstances that surround them. Most people also tend to comply with requests from law enforcement if those requests are reasonable and reasonably explained. Other times law enforcement don't have the option to explain or fully explain a situation before taking action to protect the public. That is why agencies need to spend a lot of time and effort developing a trust relationship between their agency and the public they serve.

I was involved in a search for a fleeing felon in the Big Lake area some time ago. He had pulled a gun on a cop, made threats and generally demonstrated his extreme indifference to public safety. He was seen in the Big Lake area. On one day, many law enforcement officers were looking for him. There were aircraft, patrol vehicles and officers on foot. However, the suspect had several people in the community that were sympathetic to him. Letting people know who we were looking for early in that search was not advisable. It would have placed officers in danger and potentially made the search less fruitful. Later the strategy was changed and pictures were distributed around the Wasilla, Big Lake, and Houston areas. The subsequent pressure on the defendant led to his turning himself in at the Mat-Su West Trooper Post.

In the end, it was advising of the community and solicitation of their help that resulted in this arrest.

I would suggest that there are times to limit information to the public in the process of dealing with fugitives. There are also times that the public needs to (and want to) be involved.

I personally look for ways for the public to be involved in its protection. Much more gets done than an enforcement philosophy of exclusion. Public involvement also develops a more transparent and effective relationship between enforcement and community.

By the way, thank you for your service to our country.

anrsvc

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 04/24/12 - 08:56 pm
0
0
Thanks for Your Time

"1st Cav" Tue pm 4/24/12
The incident that I was referring to was a couple of years ago & there was a Murder Suspect On the Loose near the Orca Theater Red Diamond Center K-Beach Rd.
Trooper had both sides of the road road blocked & ONLY stated for the Local Residents to Go Home, locate your Children & keep them inside. No Explaination for their directives. When I think about, You say the words Murder Suspect & People are Going to Freak Out, so I gotta assume that was a Wise Decision by the Trooper In-Charge.

By the way, just say the words '1st Cav" to me & those memories of Huey Helicopters w that Big Beautiful Yellow 1st Cav emblem on the nose Warms the Heart of any Grunt !
We Loved You Guys ! I might just Live another Day !

SPW "Airborne"

radiokenai
560
Points
radiokenai 04/25/12 - 06:24 am
0
0
ansrvc
Unpublished

There is a component to your comment that you may have overlooked. Being part of the force, or part of a team etc., it is sometimes very difficult to see your own actions and behaviors.

I have dealt with Troopers while growing up around here in the past, and my experience with them...has not been very pleasant. They use (key word here is "use") to be arrogant, controlling and power hungry jerks.

Fast forward, Mr. Ansrvc, Law enforcement's attitudes have changed 180 degrees. I have dealt with them recently (in a good way) and their attitude and behavior has been professional and respectful. I believe the response and respect that Law Enforcement receives is in direct relation to their attitudes and behaviors. Sure, there may be one bad apple here and there (IE Trooper Jesse James) but for the better part, you guys are doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

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