Police dog nabs fleeing suspect in morning chase

Casey Grove

A wanted Anchorage man fled from police Friday morning, crashed his SUV into other vehicles, and ran until a police dog caught him in the yard of a home in the Rogers Park area, a police spokeswoman said.

It was just after 7 a.m. when an officer pulled over an SUV for driving through either a red light or a stop sign near Latouche Street and Northern Lights Boulevard, according to a written statement from police spokeswoman Anita Shell. The driver, later determined to be 25-year-old Michael Roddy Jovanov, seemed "very impaired" and would not identify himself, Shell said. The officer asked Jovanov to get out of the vehicle, but he jumped back in and sped off, injuring the officer's arm and nearly pulling the officer under the vehicle, Shell said.

The SUV hit two vehicles stopped for a red light at the intersection of Northern Lights and the Seward Highway, Shell said. An officer carrying a police dog in his vehicle rushing to the area also collided with a city bus at A Street and Benson Boulevard, the police spokeswoman said.

"The officer used an evasive move to avoid the bus, which sustained minimal damage to the exit door and the rear wheel well," Shell said. "No injuries were reported on behalf of the K-9 officer, his dog, or the occupants of the bus."

Officers found the SUV about 20 minutes later, abandoned near the Stevens Park Apartments on Latouche, and then saw a man matching the suspect's description walk into Rogers Park Elementary School, Shell said. Friday was an in-service day for the school, so no students were inside, she said.

"The subject ran northbound from the school and crawled on his hands and knees across the pedestrian overpass, then slid on his stomach down the stairs to the Rogers Park Subdivision," Shell said.

The same officer and police dog in the earlier collision with the bus arrived in the neighborhood and started searching for Jovanov, Shell said. They found him hiding behind a stack of tires in a yard in the 1500 block of East 27th Avenue, she said. Tires were falling off the stack as Jovanov moved around, Shell said. The police dog nabbed Jovanov, who was arrested without further struggle, she said.

Jovanov is charged with multiple counts of assault, failing to stop for a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a revoked license, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and providing false information. He also had outstanding warrants for escaping from a correctional facility, failing to appear in court and misconduct involving a controlled substance, Shell said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.