Suspected car thief: 'I didn't do it'
On Friday afternoon, 22-year-old Totoe Sakaria danced and made faces as he appeared in an Anchorage courtroom. It's a place familiar to Sakaria; he was in one a little more than a month ago after being arrested on different charges.
In Friday's court proceedings Sakaria heard the list of new charges: vehicle theft, failure to stop at the direction of officer, assault, misconduct involving a controlled substance and violation of release conditions. After the charges were read, Sakaria looked into the gallery and mouthed the words "I didn't do it."
The Department of Corrections pretrial report is means to assess the defendant's risk of committing new crimes if released before trial. Sakaria scored a five, which is the high end of the "low" risk level. As the judge and the prosecutor's office tried to figure out why Sakaria had gotten that score, Sakaria began dancing, at which point the judge said, "Juvenile." Sakaria stopped dancing and smirked in the judge's direction.
Police say Sakaria stole a Ford Fusion on or about Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Later that night police say that car was used to elude officers.
The next day, a friend told officers, Sakaria called asking for a ride. When the friend arrived to pick up Sakaria, he saw Sakaria fighting with someone while next to a Ford Fusion. The fight ended and Sakaria got in his friend's car. After they drove away, the friend said Sakaria started yelling and threatening him. The friend stopped, got out of the car and flagged down a passing officer.
The officer was able to get Sakaria out of the car. During a search of Sakaria, the officer claimed to find an Alaska license plate, a baggie with meth and keys to a Ford Fusion. The keys were connected to the car Sakaria left behind when his friend picked him up.
The attorney appointed to defend Sakaria said in court that his client is homeless, doesn't have a phone number and would agree to wearing an ankle monitor issued by the pretrial enforcement division (PED).
A woman identified as the owner of the stolen Ford Fusion was also in court. She asked that, in addition to Sakaria being barred from going near her home, that he also be ordered to stay away from her business, which is a mobile food truck. The judge agreed to the request.
When asked how much money he earned in the last year Sakaria's response was, "5 bucks." He also told the court the only money he has is the $5 in his fanny pack at the time of his arrest.
Once the conditions of release were determined, the judge told Sakaria, "We'll just set you aside right now. You're going to have PED come over and put an ankle bracelet on you and you don't have to post any money."
Sakaria thanked the judge then danced away from the lectern.
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