Nearly half of Bethel's weekend calls involved booze
According to Bethel Police, alcohol continues to be a problem in the community.
Over the weekend, BPD reports nearly half of the calls for service involved alcohol. According to a Facebook post, of the 194 calls BPD received over the weekend, 89 were alcohol-related.
The post pointed out three notable examples. The first about a man passed out in public who was remanded on a criminal trespassing charge.
The second involved a drunk man who was starting fights, BPD says. The 30-year-old was arrested for violating conditions of release.
The last cited case ended with a man charged with one count of fourth-degree assault. BPD says 46-year-old Eddie Pastinak "beat up" a female.
This isn't the first example of alcohol contributing to issues facing the city. Last month, Bethel's liquor store ceased Sunday sales after pressure from the neighboring village of Napaskiak.
"We've buried so many loved ones already," Napaskiak Tribal Administrator Sharon Williams told KYUK. "I know we did before the liquor store opened, but ever since the liquor store opened [we've had] death after death. It’s wearing us down."
Bethel Search and Rescue also blames booze for the overwhelming number of calls received since the start of the year, putting a strain on the volunteer organization.
And last fall, more than a dozen taxi drivers were charged in connection with illegal alcohol sales.
“In 2015 and 2016, law enforcement officers in Bethel made 50 undercover alcohol purchases from individuals who lacked a license to sell alcohol,” state prosecutors wrote. “Forty-seven of the alleged illegal alcohol sales involved on-duty cab drivers. In the majority of the alleged incidents, a cab driver sold an undercover officer a single 750ml bottle of R&R Whisky for $50.”
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