Trooper run over while patrolling creek near Palmer

Posted: Monday, May 22, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Alaska state trooper was dragged by a car and run over early Saturday after stopping a driver at Jim Creek, a popular late-night party area.

Trooper Brad Nelson suffered scrapes, bruises and a sprained ankle when one of the car's tires rolled over his legs on the muddy bank, said his supervisor, Lt. Chuck Feller.

''Luckily, he wasn't seriously injured,'' Feller said. ''It could have been much worse.''

Two other troopers stopped the car. The driver, 22-year-old Victor Brown of Palmer, was arrested on charges of felony assault, reckless driving and resisting arrest. He was being held in lieu of $13,000 bail at Mat-Su jail. A passenger, Johanna M. Hanson, 21, also of Palmer, was arrested on three outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

Nelson was among two pairs of troopers on four-wheelers doing a nightlong shift along the gravel bank and surrounding trails. Troopers have begun patrolling the area in an effort to cut down on partying in what used to be a peaceful, scenic area.

At about 2 a.m., Nelson saw a car speeding along the bank. Believing the driver was behaving in a reckless manner and might be intoxicated, he pulled alongside the moving car on his four-wheeler and hollered at the driver to stop.

The driver stopped. Nelson got off the four-wheeler. As he walked toward the car, it sped away, Feller said.

Nelson jumped back on his four-wheeler. Again he pulled alongside, and again the driver stopped.

Nelson walked over and told the driver to shut off the engine and step out of the car. The driver refused, Feller said.

''At that point, my trooper opens the door, recognizing that he has a problem,'' Feller said.

Nelson allegedly saw a beer can between the driver's legs and again asked the driver to step out.

When he didn't, Nelson grabbed the driver's arm. The driver resisted and then began to back up. Nelson sprayed him with pepper spray. The car kept moving. The door pinned the trooper, dragging him about 50 feet before both of his legs slipped under the left front wheel, Feller said.

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