Alaska State Troopers Press Release of Monday, August 23, 2021

Any charges reported in these press releases are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A Detachment

  • AK21096698

    Location: Ketchikan
    Type: MICS 3; MIW 2; MIW 3

    Dispatch Text:

    On 08/21/2021, at approximately 1147 hours, a boarding team with the United States Coast Guard in Ketchikan contacted AST to request that a Trooper K9 team respond to the Thomas Basin harbor in Ketchikan for a canine sniff of the commercial fishing vessel Brown Sugar, which was being operated by the owner, and sole occupant James Vandebunte, age 58 of Wrangell. The USCG boarding team had discovered illegal drug paraphernalia during a boarding of the vessel and brought the vessel to the harbor for further investigation. AST obtained a search warrant prior to searching the vessel.  Among other drug items seized were 180 net grams of suspected methamphetamine, multiple zip top plastic baggies, digital scales, and a loaded 357 caliber pistol. Vandebunte (a convicted felon) was arrested for Misconduct involving a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Misconduct involving Weapons in the Second Degree, and Misconduct involving Weapons in the Third Degree. Investigation by Alaska State Troopers continues.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 1:51:57 PM by DPS\tjdespain

  • AK21097532

    Location: Anchor Point
    Type: Shooting Investigation - Trooper Involved

    Dispatch Text:

    Update: The Alaska State Trooper that discharged their firearm on Monday, August 23, 2021 in Anchor point is identified as Trooper Bruce Brueggeman, a six-month veteran of the Alaska State Troopers. Trooper Brueggeman has 32 years of additional law enforcement service in the lower 48. Trooper Brueggeman is receiving medical care at an Anchorage area hospital, and is currently in good condition. 

    Update 1600: The Alaska State Troopers have remanded 60-year-old Anchor Point resident Bret Herrick at the Homer Jail on charges of Attempted Murder and Assault 1. His bail will be set at arraignment.

    Update 8/24 1100: On August 23, 2021, at approximately 1307 hours, an Alaska State Trooper assigned to Anchor Point observed 60-year-old Anchor Point resident Bret Herrick at a business in downtown Anchor Point; Herrick was known to have multiple warrants out for his arrest. The Trooper contacted Herrick to attempt to arrest him on his outstanding warrants. During the contact, Herrick produced a handgun and fired on the Trooper, striking him multiple times. The Trooper also discharged his service pistol during the incident. As an additional Trooper arrived at the scene, Herrick fled the area on foot. Law enforcement from across the region, Department of Public Safety aircraft assets, and Alaska State Troopers Special Emergency Reaction Team members from across the state descended on Anchor Point to search for Herrick. Search efforts were ongoing throughout the day and into the evening. On August 24, 2021, at approximately 0840 hours, an Alaska State Trooper SERT team located Herrick near his Anchor Point residence while following up on a tip. Herrick was arrested without incident for his four outstanding arrest warrants, and additional charges are anticipated for yesterday's incident.


    The injured Trooper is currently in fair condition, receiving medical care at an Anchorage area hospital. The name of the Trooper that discharged their service weapon will be released after 72 hours in accordance with department policy. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation is conducting a thorough investigation of the incident. Once their investigation is completed, it will be forwarded to the Alaska Department of Law's Office of Special Prosecutions for review.

    Update 8/24 0900: This morning at approximately 0840 hours, the Alaska State Troopers arrested 60-year-old Anchor Point resident Bret Herrick in Anchor Point at a residence. The Alaska State Troopers would like to thank the Anchor Point community for the valuable information that was provided that resulted in Herrick’s arrest. There will be an increased law enforcement presence in Anchor Point today as Troopers continue their investigation in the incident that occurred yesterday. 

    Update 5 pm: Bret Herrick was last seen wearing work boots, dark pants, knee-length leather trench coat, black tee-shirt, and a black do-rag on his head. Herrick is 5'10", 200 pounds bald, and has brown eyes.

    Troopers are asking drivers to not pick up hitchhikers in the Anchor Point area. 

    The Trooper has been medevaced to an Anchorage area hospital for additional medical treatment. The Trooper is currently in fair condition. 

    Original: On 8/23/2021 at approximately 1300 hours an Alaska State Trooper assigned to Anchor Point was shot in the downtown Anchor Point area. Alaska State Troopers are currently looking for 60-year-old Anchor Point resident Bret Herrick in connection with this incident. If you see Herrick or have information about his current location, do not approach him and call 911 immediately. Herrick is considered armed and dangerous. The injured Trooper is receiving medical care at an area hospital, his current condition is not known. Troopers are asking the public to avoid the Anchor Point area as they search the area.


    Posted on 8/23/2021 2:12:25 PM by DPS\ajmcdaniel

  • AK21097155

    Location: Soldotna
    Type: DUI

    Dispatch Text:

    On 8/22/2021 at 1847 hours AST conducted a traffic stop at mile 99 of the Sterling Hwy on a BMW driven by David Fairchild(60) of Seward for speeding and illegal passing. Investigation found Fairchild to be impaired by alcohol. He was arrested for DUI and remanded at Wildwood Pre-trial.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 7:23:29 AM by SOA\bvstrachan

  • AK21096989

    Location: Ketchikan
    Type: SAR

    Dispatch Text:

    On 8/22/21 at 1025 hours, the Alaska State Troopers in Ketchikan were notified by the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) of someone calling for help in the mountainous upper elevations northwest of Northbird Peak.  Another hiker was on the Deer Mountain trail and heard someone in the distance yelling for help.  He could see that the stranded hiker was on a pinnacle that was surrounded by sheer cliffs and he called KVRS. The Good Samaritan hiker stated to Alaska State Troopers in a phone interview that he could see the male with binoculars about 500 yards east of his location but due to extreme steep terrain he could not reach him.  KVRS responded via Temsco helicopter and located Stephen Sumrall, age 50 of Ketchikan, at an elevation of about 2000 feet.  Sumralll was flown back to Ketchikan and arrived at 1200 hours and reported no injuries.  At 1230 hours, all searchers had returned from the field. 

    Posted on 8/23/2021 9:57:18 AM by DPS\tjdespain

B Detachment

  • AK21097204

    Location: Wasilla
    Type: DUI

    Dispatch Text:

    On 8/22/2021, at approximately 2145hrs, the Alaska State Troopers received a report for a REDDI. Further investigation revealed Robert Wilson age 61 of Wasilla, was observed walking down the middle of Point Mackenzie road, his vehicle was also parked in the middle of the road. Robert was cleared my EMS and when contacted appeared to be intoxicated.  SFSTs were administered and Robert was taken into custody. He was transported to WPD for DataMaster and provided a breath sample of .206. He was transported to MSRH for a blood draw. He was charged with DUI and released with a summons.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 3:20:00 AM by DPS\jtperron

  • AK21097260

    Location: Glennallen
    Type: DUI, VCOR X2

    Dispatch Text:

    On 08/23/2021 at approximately 0305 hours, Glennallen AST stopped a blue Subaru 4 door near 111.5 Richardson Hwy. for a moving violation. AST investigation revealed the driver identified as Jacquelyn Simeon, 22 yoa of Tazlina, was driving the vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Further investigation revealed the passenger identified as James Chudocken, 26 yoa of Tazlina, was in violation of his conditions of release by consuming alcohol. Both Jacquelyn and James were placed under, transported and held at Glennallen post. 

    Posted on 8/23/2021 4:56:50 PM by DPS\agarcia

C Detachment ...No news reported.

D Detachment ...No news reported.

E Detachment ...No news reported.

Headquarters ...No news reported.

AK Wildlife Troopers

  • AK21097572

    Location: Knik River Public Use Area
    Type: Discharge a Firearm in Prohibited Area

    Dispatch Text:

    On August 23, 2021, at approximately 5:45 p.m., Alaska Wildlife Troopers contacted 22 year old Anchorage resident Samuel D. Bailey while he was target shooting at the end of Maud Road Extension, which is part of the target shooting restriction area of the Knik River Public Use Area. Samuel was issued a citation with a bail of $170.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 7:50:18 PM by DPS\lareid

  • AK21085036

    Location: Cook Inlet
    Type: Commercial Fishing Closed Period

    Dispatch Text:

    On 7/26/2021 at approximately 0932 hours, Alaska Wildlife Troopers were conducting a Commercial Fishing Patrol on the Upper Cook Inlet. Investigation revealed Thomas Tomrdle age 72 from Kenai was fishing over the line. A citation was filed with the Kenai court for a mandatory court appearance.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 10:59:40 AM by DPS\dmlorring

  • AK21076470

    Location: Little Susitna River
    Type: Warrant Arrest

    Dispatch Text:

    On August 22, 2021, at approximately 7:06 p.m., Alaska Wildlife Troopers contacted 46 year old Wasilla resident Jamie L. Brewington at the Little Susitna River on Sushana Drive while he was recreating. Subsequent investigation resulted in Jamie being arrested on a Misdemeanor warrant for Assault IV and Criminal Mischief V. Bail is set at $500.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 11:31:01 AM by DPS\lareid

AK Bureau of Investigation ...No news reported.

AK Bureau of Highway Patrol ...No news reported.

AK Bureau of Judicial Services ...No news reported.

AK Div of Fire and Life Safety

  • AK21097290

    Location: Two Rivers
    Type: Structure Fire - Arson Investigation

    Dispatch Text:

    Update 8/27: On the evening of Thursday, August 26, 2021, the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office and Alaska State Troopers arrested 17-year-old Interior Alaska resident J.G. for starting fires at multiple structures on Chena Hot Springs Road since May 2021, including the fire at Two Rivers Lodge earlier this week. J.G. was identified as a person of interest in the Two Rivers Lodge fire and was located on surveillance video filling a gas can at a local gas station just before the fire was set. After search warrants were obtained for J.G.’s house, electronics, and vehicle, additional digital and physical evidence was uncovered by investigators. J.G. has been remanded at the Fairbanks Youth Facility on two counts of Arson I, five counts of Arson II, four counts of Burglary II, as well as multiple counts of criminal mischief. The Arson I charges will auto-waive J.G. to adult status, and he will be tried as an adult. Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues.

    The Department of Public Safety would like to thank our partners at the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Alaska Department of Law, Alaska State Park Rangers, and the Alaska Division of Forestry for their assistance over the course of this months-long investigation. The Department would also like to thank the residents of Interior Alaska for their countless tips and reports that contributed to this successful investigation; additionally, we appreciate the Two Rivers community members who patiently waited for this arrest and fully cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation. 

    Original: On August 23, 2021, at approximately 0021 hours the Alaska State Troopers were notified of a structure fire at the Two Rivers Lodge on Chena Hot Springs Road. Alaska State Troopers and a Deputy Fire Marshal responded to the scene and discovered the commercial structure fully engulfed. The structure is believed to be a total loss. The structure was occupied at the time the fire started, however, all occupants were able to escape without injury. A deputy fire marshal has determined that the fire was incendiary and is being investigated as an arson.

    If you have any information about any of the fires that have occurred on Chena Hot Springs Road this summer, please contact the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 451-5100. To remain anonymous, tips can be submitted online at:, through the AKtips smartphone app, or via text message by sending the keyword AKTIPS and your tip to 847411.

    Posted on 8/23/2021 4:23:39 PM by DPS\ajmcdaniel