Three arrested in Monday's downtown standoff
A stand–off that resulted in at least six people taken into custody, and several more arrested, ended peacefully yesterday afternoon after officials used negotiations, a tactical robot and an L–Rad device.
Around 20 police officers surrounded a downtown apartment near Noble street and First Avenue. An Alaska State Trooper Helicopter flew overhead as the police tactical team closed in on the location.
First Avenue looked like something from a movie Monday afternoon as several dozen people gathered to watch.
Fairbanks Police Chief Eric Jewkes says this all began the night before during a burglary in the Railroad Industrial area.
"What started as a burglary last night to a business—several people had broken into a local business—when confronted by the property owner of the property, they assaulted him pretty significantly, tied and taped him up, and returned him to a location while that person was tied up and held. They continued to rob and burglarize his residence in addition to the business," said Jewkes.
Officials say the suspects left the business with stolen items, including a vehicle and several guns. FPD tracked the alleged criminals back to the downtown location. They monitored the building and witnessed a man carrying a weapon on the outside patio.
"Early on in our presence here, a man came to the outside onto that first floor rooftop that you saw, carrying a gun; he luckily put that gun down, surrendered when we went up to cover that gun, found two other guns."
FPD used negotiators, a tactical robot and a Long Range Acoustical Device, which sent warning tones into the apartment, in an effort to get the remaining suspects to exit the building.
"We want to make sure it's very clear, this is the police and we're here, come to us, and let's get this resolved, and luckily it did; we had our negotiators here as you can probably see them on the phone. They were talking to people, talking to family members, trying to get everyone to come out, and they did," Jewkes said.
Thus far, police have arrested three people in connection with the incident: 32–year–old Jeffrey Nickoli–Frink, 38–year–old Mitchell Forsley and 22–year–old Dametrey Rice. Each has been charged with assault, kidnapping, theft, burglary, robbery, criminal mischief and misconduct involving weapons.
Officials say no one was hurt during the standoff.
This case is still under investigation, and anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Detective Anthony Laska at 907–450–6451.