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Cat-and-mouse: 19-year-old draws 20 APD officers to Cheney Lake

Suzanna Caldwell
Siaosi Sila, 19, ran from the police onto semi-frozen Cheney Lake. He walked off and surrendered after a showdown with police. May 16, 2013 Loren Holmes photo

An Anchorage man found himself on thin ice Thursday afternoon.

Literally.

More than 20 officers surrounded residential Cheney Lake in East Anchorage around 3:30 p.m. when Siaosi Sila ran from police and onto the thin, unstable ice.  Officers had been trying to serve Sila, 19, with a warrant for failure to comply with conditions of probation.

As police surrounded the lake, spectators gathered trying to catch a glimpse of the action. Wearing only a black T-shirt, blue basketball shorts and slippers, Sila sat on the ice, elbows on his knees, trying to figure out what to do.

After about 20 minutes, Sila began to walk toward officers perched on the far side of the lake, treading lightly and clearly testing the ice for signs of stability.

Sgt. John McKinnon said a rescuer from the Anchorage Fire Department had attempted to go out onto the lake, but quickly fell through and struggled to get out. A black inflatable Zodiac raft was being readied for a possible rescue, but it wasn’t needed after Sila made his way back to shore.

McKinnon was grateful no officers were hurt and the situation ended peacefully.

“This is the ultimate,” McKinnon said. “The person surrendered.”

Contact Suzanna Caldwell at suzanna(at)alaskadispatch.com

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