Fairbanks soldiers face charges in UAF dorm incident

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Three Fort Wainwright soldiers are accused of sneaking into a University of Alaska Fairbanks dormitory, entering some women's rooms uninvited.

One 19- and two 20-year-old soldiers face multiple charges in connection with the incidents that occurred over the past two weekends. Charges, which could be filed this week, include criminal trespass, burglary, and first- and second-degree criminal mischief, said University Police Chief Terry Vrabec.

One of the men also might be charged with impersonating a peace officer after he reportedly told a UAF student he was with the military police.

Police recovered a fake badge that one soldier is believed to have shown the woman while trying to get into her room at about 1:30 a.m. April 12. Only two of the soldiers were involved in the first incident and none of the three being investigated are military police officers.

Vrabec said they propositioned one girl while trying to force their way into her room, but she managed to close her door.

Three soldiers were involved in the second incident, which occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Vrabec said the soldiers were sitting on a bench in the dorm lobby and one of them was talking to the student worker who checks each visitor for identification and signs them in. At that time, a female student came out of the main part of the dorm and held the door open to let two of the soldiers in.

Normally, to enter the dorms guests have to sign in, show the dorm assistant working the front door some identification and a student has to come down and escort the guest. The identification is also left behind for the duration of the visit. The soldiers allegedly did not do this.

The dorm assistant reported seeing the two sneaking past and immediately notified the residence assistant, who called police while the third man left the dorm, Vrabec said.

At one point, the men opened an unlocked dorm room and walked in where they were confronted by the resident, Vrabec said. The men then left.

Two university officers and an Alaska State Trooper searched the eight-story dorm from the top down looking for the two soldiers.

A dorm worker spotted the soldiers as they headed out of the dorm and told police, who caught up with the suspects as they tried to leave in a vehicle, Vrabec said.

The third suspect was identified when Army supervisors brought him and the other two in to be interviewed Sunday night.

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