1 held after crashed Anchorage driver robbed at gunpoint
A woman is accused of leading police on a high-speed chase overnight Sunday after the armed robbery of a driver in a south Anchorage car crash, leading to another collision in which a police officer was injured.
An unidentified male suspect remained at large Friday following 23-year-old Elizabeth Christine Nelson’s arrest on assault and robbery charges, according to APD spokeswoman Nora Morse. No description of him was immediately available.
A charging document against Nelson, written by Assistant District Attorney Luba Bartnitskaia, said officers responded just before midnight on Sunday to Deerfield Drive and East Klatt Road. The female robbery victim's car had got stuck in a ditch near the intersection.
“She stated a male and female pulled up next to her in a sedan and the female asked if [the victim] was OK,” Bartnitskaia wrote. “The male then got out of the car, pointed a gun at [the victim] and took her cellphone and purse.”
Police were able to track the stolen iPhone – and the sedan – using the “Find My iPhone” app.
“Officers turned on their lights behind the suspect vehicle on O’Malley [Road] and Old Seward [Highway], but it fled onto Minnesota [Drive] traveling 80 mph after driving in reverse through the intersection,” Bartnitskaia wrote.
Although officers stopped pursuing the sedan, it rammed a University of Alaska Anchorage police cruiser, sending its driver to a local emergency room with arm and wrist injuries. University police weren’t available for comment on the officer’s condition Friday morning.
The sedan, which had been reported stolen earlier Sunday, ultimately hit a road sign, a fence and a bank of snow before rolling onto its side. Police didn’t find anyone inside the vehicle.
Soon afterward, APD received word from the Denny’s restaurant at Denali Street and East Benson Boulevard that a woman had come in to use a phone, then “ripped the receiver out of the wall and walked away with it.”
“Officers eventually apprehended [Nelson] near Benson and C Street,” Bartnitskaia wrote. “She still had the receiver in her possession.”
Both the robbery victim and a Denny’s employee positively identified Nelson as the woman they had encountered, according to Bartnitskaia.
Nelson was charged with first-degree robbery and vehicle theft, second-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief, failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. She was being held Friday at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, according to a statewide inmate database.
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