Anchorage officer punched in face while trying to put man into patrol car
An officer with the Anchorage Police Department was taken to the hospital for a fracture to his left eye bone after he was assaulted while on duty.
Late Saturday night, APD was called to the Turnagain area after a report that 51-year-old Amos Charles Lane was intoxicated — thus in violation of his conditions of release on bail.
Officer Ian Fletcher responded and found Lane walking in the area of Nova Circle and Cosmos Drive, according to a release from APD.
Fletcher was able to make contact with Lane and escorted him to his patrol vehicle to interview him, police say.
While attempting to put Lane into the back seat, Lane reached back and swung, hitting Fletcher multiple times in the face, says Anita Shell, spokesperson for APD.
Lane was not handcuffed, Shell said, adding that after he hit the officer, Lane fled the scene on foot toward the airport.
Back-up was not far away, Shell says. Multiple officers from APD and the Airport Police began a search for Lane and were able to locate him on Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport property. Police took him into custody a little after midnight.
Officer Fletcher was released from the hospital early Sunday morning after treatment of a fracture to his left orbital bone.
Police say Lane has been charged with second-degree assault and violating conditions of release, among other charges. He was taken to the Anchorage Jail and was arraigned Sunday afternoon.
The assault of an Anchorage Police officer sparked a conversation on social media, with well wishes being sent to the injured officer. The Anchorage Police Department Employees Association shared a post on Facebook thanking Fletcher for “standing the line to keep our community safe.”
“There’s not many professions where you go to work knowing being assaulted is potentially — it’s in your job description, if you will,” said APDEA President Sgt. Gerard Asselin. “And this really underscores that it does happen, and our guys and girls are out there every day in harm’s way to try and keep the community safe.”
Asselin says, though Fletcher sustained a serious injury, it could’ve been worse.
“Unfortunately, on a national scale, we’ve seen a lot of cases where, assaults on officers like this turn into the suspect taking the officer’s gun and killing them,” he said.
Shell echoed those sentiments, saying that though APD officers encounter suspects resisting arrest — it generally doesn’t result in an officer being taken to the hospital.
“Alcohol most likely fueled this incident,” said Shell. “And so, it’s an unfortunate situation, but we’re glad it didn’t end up any worse than it did.”
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