Charges: Repeat offender out on bail crashed stolen jeep into APD patrol cars, nearly hit officers
"Shut the camera off,” a man shouted from behind a glass partition inside the Anchorage jail courtroom.
Jason Lee, 40, was there Wednesday to be arraigned on eight charges — four of them felonies.
“I’m not getting on that f------ video camera,” he informed the judge.
Lee crashed a stolen car into two Anchorage police cars nearly hitting two officers, according to court documents, then ran away from police, triggering a K-9 search. It’s one of three open felony cases he’s charged in, on top of 21 prior convictions including two felonies, yet Lee has consistently received low bail, according to prosecutors.
“It’s actually my right, and I’ve granted their request,” Anchorage District Court Judge David Nesbett told Lee, regarding the presence of the media in the courtroom.
After walking to the exit and telling troopers to take him back to jail, Lee responded, “and I’m telling you I don’t want to be on camera. That’s my right.”
Nesbett counted Lee’s behavior as a refusal and rescheduled his arraignment for Thursday.
Lee’s most recent alleged criminal behavior started with a violent assault on his girlfriend in June 2018, according to court documents. The woman reported Lee broke through a bathroom door, strangled her several times, slammed her head against the wall, struck her face several times and took her phone away to prevent her from calling the police for help.
He was released on a $250 bail.
In September 2018, Lee allegedly stole a truck that was parked outside Valley Country Store on Church Road in Wasilla. The owner of the truck was very concerned, according to court documents, because his oxygen and machine were in the truck and he requires those items to breathe.
Lee was found in the truck a few days later, according to police. He’s facing two felony charges, including vehicle theft, in that case.
This time, he was released under pretrial supervision with electronic ankle monitoring after paying $500.
His latest case endangered Anchorage Police Department officers, according to court documents. On Tuesday, Nov. 19, officers responded to an apartment complex on Juneau Street for a report about a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot. As officers walked toward a stolen jeep, Lee sped past officers.
“When he did this, [an officer] had to jump out of the way as he was afraid he would be hit by the tail end of the car, and [another officer] reported he was nearly hit and sprayed with snow. Mr. Lee tried to speed out of the parking lot but [hit] both of the parked patrol cars at the entrance of the lot as well as a third parked car.”
After crashing the jeep, Lee ran away, according to the charging document. Officers used a K-9 to track Lee and eventually arrested him.
According to Lee's 10-year custody history provided by the Department of Corrections, he's been in and out of custody several times over the last decade:
Thursday, Lee appeared in court and did go through with an arraignment.
Charging documents in the latest case detailed the state’s position on bail.
“[Lee] has demonstrated by his actions that conditions of release alone, including ankle monitor and PED monitoring are insufficient to secure his performance and protect the community from the defendant’s determination to steal, assault and damage property. Monetary bail must be significant in this case, where the defendant has committed a slew of new felonies after being released on two different prior felonies.”
Prosecutors requested a bail arrangement that would require Lee to pay $16,000 cash in order to be released with conditions of house arrest and an order to not drive.
The public defender said Lee could not afford bail.
Lee told the judge he has never missed a court date, although online records indicate that is not true.
Anchorage District Court Judge Pamela Washington set Lee’s bail at $10,000 cash.
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