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Suspect remains at large following downtown assault

By Hope Miller 3:56 PM April 28, 2014

A suspect is on the loose following an April 19 downtown assault that left one man dead and two others injured, authorities said.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Kenneth Moto, 39, after he allegedly assaulted 36-year-old Daniel Stewart, 27-year-old Lavon Kittick and an unidentified male victim outside the Panhandle Bar on Fourth Avenue, said police spokesperson Jennifer Castro in a statement. Moto faces manslaughter and assault charges.

Shortly after 3 a.m., a police officer patrolling downtown was flagged by a citizen, Castro said. The officer found a man lying on the sidewalk in front of the Panhandle Bar, she said.

The officer tried to speak with the man, later identified as Stewart, about his condition, but he was “not able to speak complete sentences and could not maintain a seated position without losing his balance,” Castro said.

Stewart was hospitalized and later placed on life support. He passed away Tuesday, April 22 at Alaska Regional Hospital, according to charging documents. Police are waiting on final autopsy results before releasing more information on the nature of Stewart’s injuries, Castro said.

“It was a very severe assault,” she said.

Kittick’s jaw was broken after being punched, charging documents say. She was taken to Alaska Native Medical Center for treatment.

“Per Kittick, surgery was necessary to insert a surgical plate into her jaw- which was now wired shut,” charging documents say. “Kittick stated she did not know who had punched her.”

A witness interviewed by police said that “after punching a male, a female, and then Stewart, the suspect left the scene eastbound on foot,” according to charging documents.

Moto has been charged with manslaughter and first- and fourth-degree assault. He has not been taken into custody, Castro said, and police are asking anyone with info on his location to call APD at 786-8900. You can also submit an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP.

Authorities are still trying to track down the unknown male victim in the assault, Castro said.

According to an online obituary, Stewart graduated from Dimond High School in 1988. He worked at Braids by Tee, where he did janitorial work and ran errands for owner Fahtima Exum.

“He was a really big help to me,” Exum said, “and just a joy to be around.”

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