Fairbanks Police Officer Involved in Cinema Scuffle
FAIRBANKS — An off-duty Fairbanks police officer has been placed on paid leave while the district attorney investigates his involvement in a Sunday night scuffle at Regal Cinemas.A report of a struggle between Investigator James Gibson and another person at the movie theater has been forwarded to the Fairbanks district attorney, said Pat Cole, the city’s chief of staff. Gibson’s adversary received some bumps after falling onto the steps of the theater during the incident, Cole said. The altercation occurred just before midnight, during a showing of “X-Men First Class,” and was witnessed by about 20 people. Neither Gibson nor the other person was arrested after police officers arrived on scene, police Chief Laren Zager said. Gibson did not previously know the person with whom he struggled and was not under the influence of alcohol, Zager said. Zager said he could not provide more details about the case during this stage of investigation. Gibson has worked for the department for about 10 years. He specializes in investigating misdemeanor property crimes. Sunday’s incident is the second time this year a Fairbanks police officer has faced an investigation for off-duty conduct. No one was charged after an an altercation at Kodiak Jack’s on Saint Patrick’s Day, but Officer Dustin Stonecipher was disciplined within the department for breaking work regulations. He returned to work last week, Zager said. Gibson was not one of several other off-duty officers who was at Kodiak Jack’s that night, Zager said.