APD: Citizen caller helps make DUI arrest

Zaz Hollander

Anchorage police say they arrested a suspected drunken driver after a caller tipped off dispatchers to a green Subaru swerving and driving onto the curb in a Fairview neighborhood Tuesday.

The driver, Larry Pennington, 46, had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

A few minutes after the call came in, the Subaru ran a red light and caused an accident, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said. Officers arriving at the scene on the tip arrested the Subaru's driver for driving under the influence, she said.

The unidentified citizen caller dialed police dispatch at 12:37 p.m. and reported the Subaru's erratic driving northbound on A Street, then followed the other car as it headed east on 11th Avenue and northbound on Cordova Street, a police statement said. The Subaru was swerving into oncoming traffic.

At 12:39 p.m., the caller said the Subaru was eastbound on 9th Avenue when it ran a red light and struck two vehicles travelling south on Gambell Street, police said. The Subaru stopped there.

By then, officers alerted by the caller had arrived, Castro said. They arrested the Subaru driver and took him to Anchorage Jail. One of the other drivers involved in the accident declined an ambulance but did get driven in a personal vehicle to an area hospital to get checked out, Castro said.

She said police appreciated the caller "serving as the eyes and ears for APD" while keeping a safe distance while following the Subaru.

Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.