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VPSO Sits on Disruptive Prisoner During Transfer Flight

Published On: Mar 21 2014 04:20:52 PM AKDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2014 04:21:58 PM AKDT

Alaska State Troopers say a prisoner transfer flight became unruly Thursday, when the Togiak man being transported threatened to crash the plane and had to be restrained by a village public safety officer.

In Friday AST dispatches, troopers say the incident began at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, when Togiak authorities were informed of a domestic-violence assault at a local home. George Arkanakyak Jr., 28, was arrested and charged with fourth-degree domestic-violence assault after investigators determined that he “physically assaulted a female family member inside the residence.” Alcohol wasn’t a factor in the assault.

A Thursday flight was scheduled to take Arkanakyak to Dillingham for court hearings, with a Dillingham trooper and a VPSO both traveling to Togiak. Before takeoff, however, Dillingham troopers were informed that he became “highly disruptive.”

“During the processing of Arkanakyak in Togiak to prepare him for transport, Arkanakyak made repeated threats to force the aircraft to crash, and that he wanted everyone to die in it,” troopers wrote. “Arkanakyak was restrained and placed into the aircraft.”

According to AST spokesperson Megan Peters, the flight to transport Arkanakyak was made by a Cessna 207 chartered by troopers. Only four people were on board: the pilot, trooper and VPSO, plus Arkanakyak.

“While airborne to Dillingham, Arkanakyak became highly disruptive and fought against his restraints, becoming slightly mobile within the aircraft,” troopers wrote. “It was necessary to take physical action in order to restrain Arkanakyak from further disrupting the flight and to ensure the safety of personnel involved.”

In an email to Channel 2, Peters says Arkanakyak eventually required an officer’s full weight upon him to remain seated.

“Essentially the VPSO had to get out of his seat and sit on the defendant in order to secure him back into the additional restraints,” Peters wrote. “No injuries were reported.”

Upon arrival in Dillingham, Arkanakyak was greeted with an additional charge of reckless endangerment and held at the Dillingham Jail. Peters says there are no indications that drugs or alcohol were involved with the airborne disturbance.