FAIRBANKS — An apparent child abduction attempt was thwarted in the parking lot of the Fairbanks Holiday Inn Express on Saturday morning.
Michael A. Gallagher, 42, of Kaktovik, is accused of trying to grab at the children of a Delta Junction family, whom he seemed to think were his own. He may have been on Vicodin, crack cocaine or both, based on information in the criminal complaint against him.
James Ragland, the father of the Delta Junction family, told Fairbanks police he was taking the children out to the car when Gallagher started circling the car and trying to get to the children. Ragland and an employee from the hotel restrained Gallagher until police came, according to the criminal complaint.
Fairbanks police reported finding a bottle of Vicodin in Galagher’s pocket. He also told police he had smoked crack with his wife 20 hours before he was arrested.
Gallagher and his wife were guests at the hotel. His wife told police their children were safe with a babysitter in Kaktovik, a village on Alaska’s northeastern arctic coast. She told police they used crack cocaine about two hours before the incident.
Gallagher was arraigned on three counts of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct Tuesday morning. He pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $1,500. Gallagher hired Fairbanks attorney Bill Satterberg, according to court log notes.
Miranda Ragland, the mother of the Delta Junction family, said Tuesday the children have since had nightmares about the experience. They had previously seen Gallagher stumbling down a hall at the hotel, she said.
The family was in town to see their father sworn into the Army National Guard on Friday at the Fairbanks Grizzlies game, she said.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545.