The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Editor, Valdez Star 

Knife attack wound's woman's face, breaks her jaw

Valdez man held on no-bail warrant for felony assault, evidence tampering


A Valdez man is behind bars after police say he assaulted his girlfriend with a knife, then tampered with evidence after the victim was sent to Anchorage with life-threatening injuries.

Christopher "Levi" Harnden, age 29, was arrested in Anchorage last week, charged with first degree assault, a class A felony, and tampering with physical evidence, a class C felony.

Charging documents in the case allege that Harnden got into an argument with his girlfriend a week ago Monday. The girlfriend, who was only identified with initials in the charging documents, attempted to retrieve personal items from a shared truck when Harnden got into the vehicle and began to drive away from the scene. The victim attempted to get out of the vehicle while it was in motion.

"...Harnden sped up and told her to jump out," the charging documents state.

He allegedly sped down dump road, where he crashed into a gravel bank.

The two resumed arguing according to police and the victim retrieved her belongings and tried to leave the scene.

"Harnden (sic) took a fixed blade knife with about a 6" blade and pressed it up to (the victim's) neck," police said. "She then pushed him away and began walking away from him. They argued some more from about 10 feet away and Harnden then threw the knife at (the victim) striking her in her left cheek. The knife cut through her cheek and broke her jaw, and broke a sinus cavity."

While the victim bled profusely, police claim the perpetrator threw the knife into the woods and then went to flag down help from a nearby loader operator. The complaint alleges that he also told the victim to give police "a bogus story about the knife falling from the vehicle visor and accidentally striking her in the face."

Emergency responders, including Valdez police, EMTs and personnel from the Valdez office of the state troopers, responded.

"EMT units found a 32 year old woman bleeding heavily with a cut on her face," police said in a press release last week. "Valdez Fire Department transported her immediately to Providence Valdez where she was treated and transported via air flight to Providence Anchorage Intensive Care Unit."

Valdez police filed for - and received - a warrant to arrest Harnden for assault and tampering with evidence. He was arrested on a no bail warrant in Anchorage on Tuesday of last week.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday afternoon according to online court records.


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