Anchorage prosecutor files kidnapping, abuse charges in airport case

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) The man accused of snatching a 3-year-old as her mother slept at the Anchorage airport was charged Thursday with kidnapping and sexual abuse of a minor.

Anchorage District Attorney Bob Linton filed the charges against Alexander Harry Guest, 38, who had been held on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

Charging documents said Guest admitted to taking the child, inappropriately touching her and laying down and rubbing his groin against her.

Guest was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in 1997 and attempted sexual abuse of a minor in 1999. Both convictions were in Bethel Superior Court.

According to the prosecutor's complaint, at about 3:12 a.m. Monday a bystander at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport called airport police and said a distraught mother was in the domestic terminal frantically looking for her 3-year-old daughter.

Airport police quickly distributed a description of the missing girl to officers, other security personnel, maintenance workers and other employees.

One airport officer happened to be speaking to a military police officer, Carl Pruitt, on the upper ramp of the domestic terminal. Pruitt and his family had arrived on a flight from Hawaii at 2:10 a.m. and were waiting for a flight to Fairbanks.

Pruitt went outside to look for the girl and walked east down the exit ramp. At about 3:20 a.m., Pruitt was near the curve of the old frontage road in front of an Alaska Airlines building when he spotted a man carrying a girl in his arms. The man was later identified as Guest.

Pruitt took the girl from the man and returned with them to the terminal.

Pruitt told police he had already spoken to Guest earlier in the morning as Pruitt looked at artwork on the terminal wall. He said Guest had approached him and said he could draw as well as the pictures on the wall.

Pruitt said he left to buy coffee and saw Guest standing near the mother and the 3-year-old.

After the child was returned to her mother, Guest told Pruitt he had found the girl walking away from the terminal. Guest then told airport police he had found the girl following a man and crying for her parents, so he crossed the street and picked her up, according to charging documents.

Police said that as Guest told his story, he appeared to be drunk and nervous and he sweated profusely. They said he gave varying descriptions of the man the child supposedly had followed and the direction the man had walked, and finally identified the man the child had followed as Pruitt.

Officers noticed the girl did not have her shoes on. Anchorage police, using a search dog, found the girl's shoes behind a utility shed. Airport police said the distance walked at a normal pace between the terminal and the shoes was 12 to 13 minutes. Police said bushes surround the utility shed, hiding where the shoes were found.

After police advised Guest of his rights, he acknowledged taking and touching the child, police said. The girl also told her mother that the man who took her had taken her pants off, according to charging documents.

Guest is being held at the Anchorage Jail with bail set at $150,000.

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