Dispute between fisherman, park service set for trial

January 23, 2011 

Jim Wilde, 70, sits handcuffed Sept. 16, 2010, on the bank of the Yukon River after National Park Service rangers arrested him on four misdemeanor charges.

PHOTO BY FRED SCHENK

FAIRBANKS -- A trial has been set for April for a 70-year-old Alaska man arrested by National Park Service rangers during a dispute over a boat safety check on the Yukon River last September.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that a federal judge rejected a motion to dismiss the charges against Jim Wilde, who told rangers he believed it was unsafe to board his boat in the river and instead headed to shore.

His attorney, Bill Satterberg, said rangers confronted Wilde when they got to shore, pointing a shotgun at him and roughing him up before arresting him.

The park service has been criticized for the way the case has been handled.

Satterberg said the trial has been scheduled for April 5.

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