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

Valdez Police Dept. 

Police and emergency


September 26, 2018

(Any charges reported in this press release are merely accusations and the Defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)


Welfare Check – VPD received a request for a welfare check on a juvenile that had missed several days of school. Contact was made with the family who had been out of town for a few days.

Found Property – A credit card belonging to Alexander Zoellner was turned into dispatch. The owner can claim with proper photo id. No personally-made “ID” cards will be accepted.

Suspicious Activity – A caller reported several people looking in the windows of a mobile home that had been vacated and thought they may be vandalizing the place. Officers searched the premises and found no vandalism.


Open Door – A caller reported that she had been house-sitting for her friend; checking on it daily. Today she noticed as she was walking up that the front door was ajar. Officers walked through the residence and found nothing in the home disturbed.

Civil Issue – A man having relationship troubles with an ex-girlfriend was inquiring as to how to get her from coming into his home. He was given options as to how inform her to not come into his home anymore as well as court information, to apply for a restraining order.

Animal at Large – A small white dog was loose in the area of Valdez Mobile Home Park. The owner was advised if the dog was loose again that she would get a citation.

Permit – An alcohol catering permit was issued for the Museum Road House Fundraiser.

Sex Assault – Officers are investigating the report of a past sexual assault.


Noise Disturbance – Officer responded to the Pipeline Inn at approximately 4:38am for a tenant was reported to be making a lot of noise. Sheri McCombs was issued a warning for Disorderly Conduct.

Burglar Alarm – An alarm was activated at a local business. Owners were notified and a search of the building was made. No issues were found.

Violating Conditions of Release – Fred Mailoto, DOB: 3/31/73 of Valdez, was arrested and charged with Violating Conditions when he failed to follow the rules pertaining to his Electronic Monitoring. He was released on bail.

Welfare Check – A passerby noticed that an infant was left in a vehicle. The mother was later seen coming out of the liquor store and leaving in the vehicle. Officers made contact with the suspect and discussed making better choices.

Citizen Assist – A VPD Officer assisted moving a stalled vehicle out of the intersection.

Animal Noise – Several people called to complain about dogs continually barking on Eklutna Street. Animal Control made contact with the owner and advised him of local dog ordinances.

Bear – A bear was reported deceased after it was hit by a vehicle on the Tideflats. The remains were removed and disposed of.


Intoxicated Pedestrian – While on patrol, an Officer made contact with a highly-intoxicated individual who was having great difficulties battling earth gravitational forces and performing basic motor functions such as walking and standing. Concerned for her safety, the officer transported her to the hospital for protective custody until she could sober up and once again battle that pesky gravity.

Harassment – A woman reported that she was being harassed via social media as someone was posting inappropriate photos of her that she had taken of herself on an old phone. The woman had since sold the phone and forgot to delete the images before doing so. The case is currently under investigation.

Motor Vehicle Accident – A caller reported that a side dump had literally fallen on its side as the driver attempted to dump its contents near the landfill. The incident was determined to be an industrial accident due to improper loading of cargo and not a Motor Vehicle Accident.

Welfare Check – A check was requested on a juvenile after he was seen with a swollen eye. An investigation was conducted and the results were referred to the Office of Children’s Services.

Found Property – A visa card belonging to Nelissa Swisher. Please claim at VPD with proper ID. Again, no personally made “ID” cards will be accepted.

Home Confinement – Daniyel Henry, DOB: 06/12/99 of Valdez was placed under Home Confinement for 3 days after he was convicted on a first time DUI.

Domestic Disturbance – A caller reported that she needed assistance with an intoxicated person in her home yelling and being irrational. Officers made contact with the man who agreed to stop his behavior. The caller was advised to call dispatch if any more issues developed.


Parking – A vehicle parked along the highway with its hazard lights on was reported near the Swan Pond. VPD Officers made contact to the known driver who indicated that it broke down and they would have it towed soon. The vehicle was removed within the allotted time frame.

Welfare Check – A car was reported parked in the street with its doors open. No occupants could be seen. Officers made contact with the owner who indicated that the vehicle had rolled into the street from the parking lot of the Glacier Sound Inn due to faulty brakes.

Violating Conditions of Release – For the second time in a week Fred Mailoto, DOB: 3/31/73 of Valdez, was arrested and charged with Violating Conditions when he failed to follow the rules pertaining to his Electronic Monitoring. He was released on bail - again.

Suspicious Vehicle – A black truck was reported to be parked behind a tree at the end of West Pioneer. VPD made contact with the vehicle owner who had no idea how it got there, but he noted that the lights were missing off the front. After several hours of investigation, the lights were located in the possession of two local thieves. he lights were recovered and returned to the owner of the vehicle who did not want to press charges for theft of property.

Welfare Check – A caller reported that her daughter and infant had left a few days earlier and had not come home. Officers located the two at another residence and determined them to be ok.

Domestic Disturbance – Officers were called back to the same residence from the prior night for the report of another domestic dispute. Officers explained to the complainant the course of actions she could take and she was referred to the local advocates for assistance in getting a protective order.

Agency Assist – VPD was requested to check for a missing helicopter that may be at the Valdez Airport. The helicopter was not located. Information was passed on to Juneau.

Possible Drunk Driver – A blue dodge pickup with a camper was reported to be driving slow and zig-zagging on the highway. Officers responded and searched the area through Alpine Woods but could not locate the vehicle.

Possible Drunk Driver – A white pickup heading outbound on the Richardson Highway was reported to be swerving in their lane, drifting from white line to yellow line and driving at inconsistent speeds. Officers made contact with the driver, and although not impaired by alcohol, she was found to have exceptionally greasy hands from consuming a whole roast chicken while she drove. She was advised that it would be better to continue her chicken feast whilst parked and not actively driving and she agreed to be more careful.

Domestic Disturbance – A caller reported that he could hear two people on the street behind him yelling at each other. Officers made contact with two extremely intoxicated people who were indeed quite loud. Nothing physical, just loud yelling. Each one was given a Disorderly Conduct warning and told to stop.


Domestic Dispute – A couple were arguing over a set of keys because the female party took the keys from the male who had been drinking to prevent him from driving. The male was advised that it was a good thing that he had a partner that cared enough about him to take his keys when he was in such an intoxicated state. They eventually resolved their problem.

Felony DUI – VPD received a report that a vehicle had swerved into the oncoming lane as it was headed northbound on Thompson Pass and lost control, left the road, rolled and landed on the edge of the creek near MP 27. When Officers arrived at the scene, witnesses advised that the sole occupant of the truck had fled the scene. Officers later located the driver in the vicinity, and identified him as Mathew Downing, DOB: 12/30/1993 of Valdez. Mr. Downing was found to have a breath-alcohol content of .210, (nearly three times the legal limit) and was arrested for Felony (2+ Priors) DUI, Avoidance of Ignition Interlock Device, and Leaving the Scene of a Damage Accident and False Report. Downing was later arraigned and released on $1500.00 unsecured performance bond.

Welfare Check – A man requested a check on his friend who he hadn’t been able to get a hold of. Officers made contact with the female who indicated she was fine and just didn’t answer the male’s calls because she really didn’t want to talk to the man because he was drunk and being obnoxious. The officers agreed that this was perfectly understandable reason.


Noise Complaint – At approximately 01:30am, dispatch received a call regarding someone using a chain saw in the area of Hanagita Street. Officers made contact with the man running the chainsaw who failed to see the problem with the early morning hour and concurrent the running of his chainsaw. The male advised officers that he didn’t want to run his electric heat as it was too expensive and that he needed more firewood ASAP. A long conversation ensued between the officers and the man about: “neighborly” behavior, the correlation of noise and difficulty sleeping, circadian rhythms, the high cost of electricity and angry mothers with young children and how it’s best to not be on their “bad side.” In the end, the man was advised of the noise ordinance and possible penalties and was told to continue his “urgent” chainsaw work at a later time. Peace was restored and all was harmonious.

Animal – Several callers reported three horses running down the highway near MP 19. The owners were contacted to round up and secure their horses.

Bear – A man reported that three bears ran across the road in front of his wife’s car by Crooked Creek. She had to brake pretty hard and may have clipped one of the bears. No reports on an injured bear have been received.

Prostitution – A report of several people that are prostituting themselves in town. This case is currently under investigation.

Possible Drunk Driver – Officers were dispatched for the report of a possible drunk driver on Hanagita. The complainant stated that the vehicle was traveling at a very slow speed and crossing over the lines. An Officer made contact with the driver who stated that he had not been drinking but just visiting someone and came straight home. He was found to be negative for impairment.

Disturbance – Officers responded to the Pipeline Inn where a woman reported being harassed by her landlord who keeps shutting off the power to her room and continually bangs on her floor. Officers contacted both parties and determined that they both needed Disorderly Conduct warnings. They agreed not to cause any more problems.

Total Calls for Police & Animal Control: 116


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