Alaska News

Inmate dies after being restrained at Anchorage Correctional Complex

An inmate at the Anchorage Correctional Complex died early Wednesday after being restrained by correctional officers, officials said.

Larry J. Kobuk, 33, is the second inmate to die at the jail in the last six weeks. The other death was ruled a suicide.

Kobuk's route to Anchorage jail started when Anchorage police went looking for a pickup truck reported stolen.

Around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, they found the truck crashed into an East Anchorage snowbank and Kobuk at a liquor store up the street.

After being questioned, Kobuk was arrested on charges of vehicle theft, theft, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license. He was taken to the Anchorage jail at 10:45 p.m. and had bail set by a magistrate.

About an hour after arriving, at 11:30 p.m., he was "relinquished to the control of the (Department of Corrections)," Alaska State Troopers reported in an online dispatch.

While being booked, Kobuk was "non-compliant with Correctional Officers' verbal commands," according to troopers. Correctional officers restrained Kobuk because he was being combative, the dispatch said.

As guards were leaving Kobuk in a cell, they checked on him and found he was "unresponsive," troopers reported.

By then, it was 11:45. Nursing staff in the booking area started CPR right away, according to DOC spokeswoman Sherrie Daigle. An ambulance arrived eight minutes later.

Kobuk was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 12:50 p.m., Daigle said.

Public records show Kobuk with addresses in Anchorage stretching back more than a decade, and one former address in the Norton Sound village of St. Michael.

DOC would not answer further questions Wednesday, including inquiries of how Kobuk was restrained and how many correctional officers were present at the time.

An autopsy will be performed by the State Medical Examiner, as is standard in all cases where a person dies in jail. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation's Major Crimes Unit, which looks into jail deaths, is investigating.

In another incident Monday night, a 39-year-old inmate at the Mat-Su jail was injured seriously enough to be sent to an Anchorage hospital. DOC officials have so far refused to describe the circumstances surrounding that incident.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at mtheriault@adn.com.

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