Sexual abuse suspect arrested after 10-hour standoff in Galena

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A suspect in a sexual abuse case was arrested after a 10-hour standoff in Galena, Alaska State Troopers said.

Larry Wholecheese, 45, is accused of holding troopers and a Galena police officer at bay with threats to kill himself.

The incident unfolded as Wholecheese was being questioned as a suspect in a sexual abuse case by a Galena trooper and a Galena police officer at his house Friday afternoon, trooper Lt. Greg Tanner said.

According to a criminal complaint, Wholecheese ran upstairs after he broke away from the officers as they tried to arrest him for a sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl in Galena Nov. 7.

Galena Police Officer Gerald Meese ran after Wholecheese, but backed away when Wholecheese grabbed a shotgun, the complaint states.

''He grabbed the weapon and they heard him chamber a round,'' Tanner told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. ''His threat was along the lines of leave me alone or I would shoot myself.''

The Galena trooper called the detachment headquarters in Fairbanks and two negotiators, Sgt. Dave Drvenkar and Sgt. J.R. Roberts, flew to Galena.

Tanner said Trooper Sgt. Ron Wall tried negotiate with Wholecheese by telephone from Fairbanks while the other two talked to him in Galena.

''(Wholecheese) was alone in the house. These kinds of things we take all the time in the world dealing with,'' Tanner said. ''It's all about negotiating and waiting and waiting and waiting.''

Tanner said Drvenkar talked Wholecheese into surrendering at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Wholecheese was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree escape and third-degree assault for allegedly placing Meese in fear of being shot. Wholecheese is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center on $100,000 bail.

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