Soldotna water thrower faces criminal charges

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Four additional misdemeanor charges have been filed against the Soldotna man accused of throwing water on peace demonstrators at the Soldotna "Y" April 1.

Jeffrey L. Webster, 44, owner of Webster's Outdoor Adventures guide service, was charged Monday with one additional count of harassment, allegedly committed on or about March 24, one count of fourth-degree assault, allegedly committed on or about March 31 and two counts of interference with constitutional rights, allegedly committed between March 22 and April 1.

Webster had previously been charged with one count of harassment, allegedly committed April 1.

In charging documents filed by the Kenai District Attorney, Webster is said to have first contacted the demonstrators March 22 in front of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Building on Binkley Street, where he warned them he would throw water on them if he saw them protesting again.

Webster's son, Shane, is a Marine serving in Kuwait, and Webster has said he is offended by people demonstrating against the war in Iraq.

After the first contact, the demonstrators wrote down the license plate number of Webster's white pickup truck, and on March 24, Webster drove the same truck to the intersection of the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways and allegedly threw water from a five-gallon bucket on two women holding signs.

On March 31, Webster drove up to two women and one man at the "Y" in Soldotna, this time with an empty bucket. He is alleged to have verbally confronted the women and verbally and physically confronted the man, pushing against him with his stomach and arm.

The next day, Webster allegedly drove up to two groups of about 10 demonstrators and threw five gallons of liquid on each group.

The constitutional rights interference charges allege that he intentionally injured, oppressed, threatened or intimidated 10 people because they had exercised or enjoyed a right, privilege or immunity granted by the constitution or laws of Alaska -- freedom of speech or of assembly.

Webster has entered a plea of not guilty to the initial harassment charge and demanded a jury trial, which has been set for the week of July 8 in Kenai District Court.

Webster's attorney, Wayne Ross of Anchorage, was unavailable Tuesday for comment on the additional charges. Webster said he was unaware of the additional charges.

"I just hope all the troops come home," he said. "Then this will all be worth it."

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