Multiple callers give APD the drop on DUI suspect
Anchorage police are thanking three citizens who called 911 to report a drunk driver early Wednesday, providing information which let police take him off local streets when he headed home.
The sightings which led to 53-year-old Christopher D. Beck’s arrest began at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in a statement, with a call about a man “slumped over the wheel of his running Ford pickup” as it idled in southbound lanes of the Seward Highway near Northern Lights Boulevard.
“While still on the phone with dispatch, the caller then reported the man woke up and was continuing to drive,” Oistad wrote. “The citizen followed the man for a time and provided updates to Dispatch along with the license plate. The citizen quit following once the Ford turned in a direction opposite from where the citizen was headed.”
As police converged on the area to find the Ford, another call came in about 10 minutes later reporting a blue Ford pickup heading outbound on the Glenn Highway from Airport Heights.
“The caller stated they thought the driver may be impaired,” Oistad wrote. “The caller then gave dispatch the license plate of the Ford which matched the plate the original caller gave. The second caller lost sight of the pickup once they reached the Bragaw (Street) exit.”
Just before 3 a.m., police received a third call about a man passed out in Eagle River, at the Old Glenn Highway’s intersection with Monte Road. Police didn’t find anyone at the intersection, but an officer visited the West Parkview Terrace Loop address of the Ford’s registered owner – Beck’s residence.
“As an officer was approaching the home, he witnessed the Ford pull into the driveway,” Oistad wrote. “The officer pulled up behind the vehicle and activated his emergency lights.”
Beck was taken into custody, Oistad said, after he showed poor balance and refused to answer questions or perform field sobriety tests. When they arrived at APD headquarters, the officer seated Beck in a chair at the OUI processing unit.
“As the officer was setting his computer down on the table, Beck leaned to his left and then fell out of his chair,” Oistad wrote. “The officer helped Beck up off the floor and discovered Beck had cut his head on a nearby cabinet during the fall. Beck was driven to the hospital for treatment of the cut; stitches were not necessary.”
Blood samples from Beck were seized as evidence, after police obtained a search warrant.
Police charged Beck with operating under the influence and violating his conditions of release. He was also taken into custody on a warrant for failure to appear in court, stemming from a previous OUI charge.