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Palmer driver charged with costly hit-and-run on military base

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

Federal criminal charges have been filed against a 25-year-old man who allegedly entered an Alaska military base illegally and then ran over an Air Force police officer, leading to a high-speed chase, gunfire and a partial lockdown of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson just outside of Anchorage.

Kyle Hansen of Palmer ignored security and drove onto JBER in the early-morning hours of Jan. 19, struck an officer, hit a police vehicle, and then fled, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alaska on Tuesday.

Hansen was clocked speeding across base at 60 mph when he attempted to drive out via the Government Hill base entrance near the Port of Anchorage. But he was blocked by police, prompting him to turn around and drive back toward JBER's Boniface Parkway gate, by that time closed to traffic. As he neared the Boniface exit, he allegedly struck a security vehicle, causing an estimated $8,000 in damage. He's accused of causing as much as $50,000 in damage to the gate. Security officers shot at Hansen's truck as he drove through the closed gate.

His freedom was short-lived.

Anchorage police launched a manhunt that ended with Hansen's arrest around 11 p.m. at an Eagle River apartment complex, where he was found cowering under a bed.

Hansen was on felony probation and has twice been convicted of drunken driving, the federal charging documents said

A witness, who Hansen spoke to before Anchorage police found him, told investigators that Hansen claimed he'd "hit three cop cars, a spike strip and the gate," but had been afraid for his life after he'd been fired upon on base. 

The witness claimed Hansen was en route home to "get his guns and go out with a bang because he couldn’t go back to jail."