Monday traffic stop in Midtown nets driver 12 counts
A Midtown traffic stop Monday night led police to arrest a man on a dozen separate charges, after officers say he tried to run away and dispose of handguns he hadn’t mentioned when he was pulled over.
Rusty M. Parrish, 31, faces five counts each of misconduct involving controlled substances and weapons, plus single counts of providing false information and resisting arrest, police spokesman MJ Thim said Tuesday. Officers tried to pull Parrish over just before 11:30 p.m. Monday near Lake Otis Parkway and Northern Lights Boulevard, where Parrish was driving a vehicle “without its headlights on.”
“[Parrish] indicated to the officer that he would pull over into a parking lot,” police wrote. “Instead of waiting for the light to turn green, Parrish ran the red light and drove to the lot.”
When an officer approached Parrish and asked for his license, Thim said, Parrish said he didn’t have a license on him then gave a false name and date of birth. The officer also asked if Parrish had any weapons in the vehicle and Parrish said he didn’t; the officer then began walking back to his cruiser.
“Parrish stepped out of the Honda and yelled out that he wanted to smoke,” Thim wrote. “The officer told Parrish to get back in the vehicle. As Parrish turned, the officer saw a large knife clipped to Parrish’s pants pocket.”
That’s when the officer called in backup units and told Parrish to remove the knife, then put it in the back seat of his car. Instead, Thim said, he “dropped the knife to the ground and then put his hands up.”
“Parrish began walking backwards, ignoring the officer’s commands to stop, and then took off running on foot,” Thim wrote. “The officer gave chase all the while giving orders which Parrish did not comply with. During the foot pursuit the officer saw Parrish throw a small dark object into an alley, and then do the same thing with another object a few feet away.”
Soon afterward, the officer tackled Parrish into a snowbank at the Wendler Middle School parking lot. A pat-down search found “two empty under-the-armpit gun holsters, a plastic bag containing a substance that field-tested positive for meth, and another bag containing pills,” as well as a wallet containing Parrish’s actual ID.
“Officers retraced the foot pursuit path and located the two loaded guns the pursuing officer had seen Parrish throw,” Thim wrote. “After obtaining a search warrant, officers searched Parrish’s car. Additional drugs and drug paraphernalia were found and subsequently confiscated as evidence.”
Parrish also had two outstanding warrants for his arrest and was held at the Anchorage Jail.
Thim said the stop was a result of the city’s rising numbers of sworn officers in recent years, which has allowed the department to take on its regular caseload as well as traffic work.
“It highlights the significance that traffic stops make,” Thim said. “With our staffing increase, with patrol we're able to conduct more traffic stops and this led to this arrest.”
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