Woman faces arrest for assault

Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers have obtained an arrest warrant for a 37-year-old woman wounded during a shooting incident involving troopers Friday in Gakona.

The warrant charges Dalana Dixon with third-degree assault for firing a gun in the presence of troopers, said AST spokesman Greg Wilkinson. Dixon, who lives in a wilderness cabin near Tok, has been commited to Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage since the incident. She denies she fired any shots or provoked troopers.

Wilkinson said troopers are waiting until Dixon is released from API to arrest her.

The incident occurred at the residence of Chris Gene at Mile 4 of the Glenn Highway/Tok Cutoff, where Dixon was staying temporarily. Troopers were called out Friday morning by Dixon to investigate the death of Ronald Sanford, 37, a relative of Gene's who had spent the night. They believe he died of asphyxiation after choking on vomit after a night of heavy drinking.

Wilkinson said his agency is investigating whether Trooper Dennis Dupras of Glennallen acted properly when he fired two shots into Dixon's pickup during a standoff Friday afternoon outside Gene's house. Trooper Eric Spitzer of Palmer and Bernard Chastain, a Fish and Wildlife Protection trooper based in Glennallen, were also at the scene but did not fire, Wilkinson said.

Dixon contends otherwise.

''There were two. They both shot,'' she said. ''About four or five shots. . . . One shot into the front window, the others from the side window.''

The number of shooters and shots are two of many parts of troopers' account of what happened that she disputes.

Dixon said troopers asked her to leave the property but wouldn't get a wrecker to tow her broken-down pickup with camper to a friend's place in Chistochina, so she waited in the truck with two of her dogs. Dixon said she had four rifles and two handguns in the vehicle. Only one rifle was in the passenger compartment, she said, but she never reached for it or fired.

''I was scared to death because he said we needed to get out of there in half an hour but he wouldn't let me make a phone call,'' Dixon said.

''My babies were all murdered,'' she said, referring to the two dogs that died during the shooting. Her third dog had run off and is missing. Dixon lives alone and her pets are her family, she said.

Wilkinson said troopers believe Dixon shot her dogs, and they had trouble finding her a wrecker.

''Finally they found one for her but she had to have cash in hand,'' he said. ''She became emotional and locked herself in the back seat of her pickup truck.''

Troopers told her to come out or face arrest, Wilkinson said. At about 4 p.m. they decided to break in the rear passenger window so they could pull her out. Then they believed they heard shots fired from inside the truck and Dupras shot back. Dixon suffered a wound to her left hip.

Wilkinson said a Criminal Investigation Bureau team at trooper headquarters in Anchorage, led by Investigator Craig Allen, is seeking forensic evidence to sort it all out. They have obtained search warrants for Dixon's pickup and to perform necropsies on her dead dogs.

''We want to get at the truth,'' Wilkinson said. ''Anytime a trooper discharges a weapon, there has to be a full account.''

Doctors at Providence Alaska Medical Center brought Dixon to API after she was treated early Saturday.

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