Police follow 'odd' tire tracks to rape suspect

Police caught up with a man suspected of raping and severely beating a woman Thursday morning by following the tire tracks he left after a hit-and-run accident that occurred while he was fleeing, police said.

Michael Berg Jr., 24, is facing four counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of assault and one of kidnapping following the attack on the woman near Fireweed Lane and C Street at about 6:30 a.m., police said.

The woman told police she had taken a ride from a man starting at 12th Avenue and Gambell Street to the Fireweed intersection. Once there, he threatened her with a gun and a knife while he sexually assaulted her and severely beat her, police said.

When the woman escaped the vehicle, the suspect sped off west on Fireweed, getting into an accident at its intersection with Spenard Road but continuing on, police said. The accident victim followed the suspect's Bronco west on Northern Lights Boulevard but eventually lost sight of it, police said.

While looking for the suspect, patrol officer Jeff Martin saw some "odd tire tracks" near Aero Avenue and followed them to a home on Starburst Circle, where police found and arrested Berg.

He was booked at the Anchorage jail with bail set at $50,000.

Anchorage Daily News