Holiday celebrations gone bad in Fairbanks

Posted: Sunday, November 26, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Isn't Thanksgiving supposed to be a time of togetherness and sharing?

Fairbanks police, though, were busy dealing with gatherings gone amuck. There was the woman who hit a man over the head with a plate at a restaurant and another woman who blamed her grandmother for ruining the holiday then threw the turkey into the trash.

Just goes to show that the Thanksgiving holiday isn't immune to the mishaps that occur on any other day of the year. In fact, you've got a potentially volatile situation with all the stress of making sure everything is perfect, plus friends and family together ane alcohol in some cases.

''It's always the unusual stuff on the holidays,'' said Sgt. Dan Welborn, swing-shift watch commander. ''Every year we get a call that the female is making Thanksgiving dinner and the male is in front of the TV watching a football game. And the fight starts.''

Welborn said a couple of years ago police answered a domestic violence call where a woman had hidden beer from her husband while he sat in front of the television and she cooked the holiday meal.

This year's mishaps include a woman hitting a man over the head with a plate while they dined at Royal Fork Buffet Restaurant. Welborn said the incident was witnessed by the restaurant's assistant manager, but the pair left before officers arrived.

Earlier, Fairbanks Police arrested Alexandria Dileonardo, 29, of Fairbanks on charges of assaulting a police officer.

Fairbanks Officer Stewart Lewis said police received a call about a possible fight from Dileonardo's grandmother. When police arrived to investigate, Lewis said Dileonardo became ''very emotional'' and blamed her grandmother for ruining Thanksgiving. Dileonardo reportedly threw the turkey in the trash and swept everything from the kitchen table onto the floor.

''She told me to arrest her,'' Lewis said, then she kicked him in the upper inner thigh. He obliged.

For Fairbanks Officer Gary Korshin, the holidays have a different feel, which he tries to reciprocate to those he comes in contact with. This Thanksgiving he took a drunken man home to spend time with his family instead of taking him to jail or to a rehabilitation center to sleep the alcohol off.

Upstairs at the Fairbanks Fire Department, most of the day was spent enjoying a turkey and ham dinner with all the fixings.

The day was interrupted a few times, once by a call for possible smoke at an apartment complex.

Battalion Chief Alan Dick said a woman was cooking a Thanksgiving meal and her apartment had filled up with steam. She opened the apartment door to let the steam out the apartment. A neighbor saw it, and thinking it might be smoke, called the fire department.

Otherwise, that left the 10 firemen to cook and wrestle with a 20-pound turkey while family members watched Barbra Streisand in ''Funny Lady'' on the lounge television.

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