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AK Beat: Police arrest 4 in Anchorage home invasion, then arrest residents of the home

Alaska Dispatch

Police arrest four in Anchorage home invasion, then arrest victims: Anchorage police reported Sunday that they had arrested four people in connection with an Airport Heights home invasion and robbery, and also arrested the two residents of the home on charges of child neglect. According to the Anchorage Police Department, two armed individuals entered a home on the 3200 block of Penland Parkway by kicking in the door early Sunday morning. One of the inhabitants was struck multiple times, before "(t)he residents fought back and were able to successfully relieve one of the robbers of his weapon, causing the robbers to retreat from the residence," police wrote in a release. Four men -- identified as Chantel L. Rushing, 21; Jacobi Stephens, 22; Demitri Scott, 21; and James Griffin, 23 -- were arrested after police stopped a suspicious vehicle in the area. They were charged with one count each of robbery and burglary, while Rushing and Stephens were each charged with one count of assault and Scott and Griffin were charged with three counts of assault each. "Additionally, the victims of the home invasion robbery, identified as 25-year-old Amanda Loyd and 24-year-old Jonah Robinson, have each been charged with Child Neglect due to placing a 3 1/2-year-old child, who was inside the residence at the time of the robbery, in danger," police wrote. Loyd and Robinson reportedly admitted to growing and selling marijuana in the home, and had conducted a transaction with the suspects in the home invasion, police said. All were taken to the Anchorage Jail, and the child was placed with family members, police said.

Trooper identified in Homer shooting death: Alaska State Troopers have identified the trooper whose gun was reportedly obtained by a suspect in a scuffle Wednesday -- and used by the suspect to fatally shoot himself -- as David G. Chaffin, a five-year veteran stationed in Anchor Point. Troopers initially reported that Chaffin was responding to a domestic violence call in which 24-year-old Aaron Michael Rael-Catholic of Homer had assaulted his ex-girlfriend and rammed his vehicle into hers. When Chaffin attempted to arrest Rael-Catholic, a confrontation ensued and Rael-Catholic allegedly got hold of Chaffin's gun and used it to fatally shoot himself in the head. Troopers said Saturday evening that the medical examiner had determined that Rael-Catholic had indeed died of a single gunshot wound to the head, and a civilian witness had seen Rael-Catholic shoot himself with the trooper's weapon. The investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Iditarod musher Lance Mackey arrested in Fairbanks: Four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey was arrested in Fairbanks Saturday for violating conditions of release related to a 2013 DUI charge, Alaska State Troopers reported Sunday. According to troopers spokesperson Beth Ipsen, Mackey was arrested for not having a valid driver's license or proof of vehicle insurance, both conditions related to his release on the previous DUI charge. Mackey was reportedly taken to the Fairbanks Correctional Center. Mackey sat out this year's Iditarod in part due to lingering health problems related to his 2001 battle with throat cancer. Ipsen said that Mackey's 2013 DUI case is still open.