1 of 3 sought after Wasilla stabbing in custody
Alaska State Troopers have arrested one of the three men sought in apparently separate encounters after a stabbing in Wasilla late Sunday, but are still trying to find the other two – including the stabbing suspect.
Zackery Ryan Cornelius-Vincent, 23, was arrested Wednesday evening, troopers said in an online dispatch, after a maroon Ford Explorer was reported stolen from a Highland Drive home in Wasilla at about 7:30 p.m. After a bulletin about the SUV was put out to police in the area, it was spotted just after 11 p.m.
"The Ford failed to stop for Wasilla (police) who pursued it until the driver fled on foot in the area of Cottle Loop," troopers wrote. "AST responded and assisted with setting up a perimeter. [WPD's] K-9 located the driver who was identified as [Cornelius-Vincent] and taken into custody."
The Big Lake resident was charged by Wasilla police with crimes related to the pursuit, troopers said, and also held on existing warrants for failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and vehicle theft.
According to a trio of trooper dispatches, troopers first responded to the stabbing off Sylvan Drive at about 11:12 p.m. Sunday.
“Troopers contacted the victim nearby and rendered medical aid including application of a tourniquet until [emergency medical services] arrived on scene,” troopers wrote.
The victim was treated and released at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, troopers said. The stabbing suspect – 24-year-old Kahleb-Colton M. Johnson of Houston – left before troopers arrived.
At the same time as the stabbing, troopers also spoke with 30-year-old Kenneth Degroff of Wasilla, who was walking in the area.
“The individual whose name he provided had a warrant for his arrest with three days to serve,” troopers wrote. “While attempting to arrest [Degroff], he actively resisted arrest and stripped off his sweatshirt and shirt in order to get away.”
Just six minutes later, troopers headed to the stabbing stopped a 2008 Honda Accord driven by Cornelius-Vincent, who didn’t initially identify himself but “matched the description of the suspect in the stabbing.”
“When other troopers arrived to assist, Vincent accelerated away from the stop nearly crushing a trooper between his car and the patrol vehicle,” troopers wrote. “A brief pursuit ensued during which Vincent drove over 100 mph and failed to stop at major intersections. Vincent crashed his car off the east end of Hollywood Road and fled into the woods on foot.”
Troopers were seeking warrants on Johnson for second-degree assault, as well as Cornelius-Vincent on charges including failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and assault. Charges against Degroff of resisting arrest and providing false information were forwarded to the Palmer district attorney’s office.
In addition to the new charges, Degroff was sought on a warrant for failing to comply with probation conditions in a previous case.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters was still gathering photos of the wanted men and details on the stabbing Thursday morning. None of the three incidents appeared to be connected.
“It's one of those coincidences because of the stabbing and people being where they were,” Peters said. “The cases themselves are not linked except by their proximity to one another.”
Anyone with information on any of the suspects is asked to contact troopers at 907-352-5401 or Crime Stoppers at 907-745-3333.
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