Alaska News

Anchorage police: No charges in Palin birthday brawl

Prosecutors won't proceed with charges in a brawl that involved several members of the Palin family, Anchorage police said Thursday.

The news comes as Anchorage police released reports Thursday morning outlining witness statements in the fight.

Police were called to South Anchorage regarding a brawl involving about 20 people that had broken out at Korey Klingenmeyer's house on the evening of Sept. 6. The event was a birthday party for brothers Marc and Matthew McKenna and Klingenmeyer's son. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband, Todd, and some of their children were there.

Five police officers wrote up police reports on the scene. More than 15 witnesses were interviewed, and the statements offer conflicting information regarding what happened.

Overall, the accounts in the police report seemed to confirm, in broad terms, initial witness reports that surfaced before the police report's release.

At least two fights appear to have broken out during the party, according to witness statements: a fight involving Track Palin, 25, and his father, Todd, and one involving Bristol Palin, 23, oldest daughter of the Palins. Seven witnesses verified Klingenmeyer's account of being punched in the face repeatedly by Bristol Palin.

The order of events differs between witness statements in the 26-page police report. The Palins told police they were leaving the house when Track was attacked. Other witnesses said a brawl outside the front of the house involving Track and Todd occurred before Bristol Palin began punching Klingenmeyer behind the home.


When police arrived on scene, tensions were still high. Officer Benjamin Nelson arrived at the home to find Sarah and Todd Palin arguing with others. At another point, Todd, Track and Willow Palin, another Palin daughter, confronted homeowner Klingenmeyer in his driveway, and police had to separate the parties, officers John Daily and Ruth Adolf wrote.

Officer Justin Blake described arriving to find a group of people heading toward a long, white limousine parked in the street. Blake noted a strong smell of alcohol coming from the group. Track Palin, shirtless and bloodied, was being led into the limousine by several others, who appeared "intent on keeping him away from me," the officer wrote.

Track "acted belligerent at first but I was able to get him to step out of the car," Blake wrote. An "angry and intoxicated" Track told Daily that his friend, whom he knew only as Steven, was sucker-punched from behind as the Palins were leaving the party.

The Palin family had decided to leave after "some guys were talking rudely to his sisters, making them cry," Track told police. Track had blood around his mouth and on his hands and an injury under his left eye, Daily wrote. Track said he didn't know the men who attacked him.

Witness Matthew McKenna also said he and Todd Palin were walking on the sidewalk when he saw Steve punched by an unknown person, and Steve fell to the pavement. McKenna and Palin rushed to help, and a group of men started "piling" on Todd Palin. Track Palin then jumped into the fight, McKenna told police.

The fight eventually broke up, and McKenna told Todd Palin to get his "crew" and leave the party, officer Adolf wrote.

Steven Lebida, whom Blake found bleeding from his eye and nose as Lebida left the party, said he had tripped and fallen on the pavement. Lebida refused to speak to police about what had happened.

After the fight broke up, McKenna headed to the back of the house, where he told police he witnessed an "out of control" Bristol Palin punch Klingenmeyer repeatedly in the face.

Klingenmeyer told police that a fight had broken out in the cul-de-sac in front of the home, and he had asked guests not to get involved. A few minutes later, Bristol and Willow Palin came around the back of the house, and Bristol looked like she wanted to start a fight, Klingenmeyer said.

Klingenmeyer asked her to leave, he told police. "Who the f--- are you?" she responded. He told her he was the homeowner, and she responded that he didn't own the house and she would "kick his ass."

"He says then that she hits him in the face. He says he then tells her to hit him again if it makes her feel better and she does. He says he lets her hit him 5-6 times in the face and that she was hitting pretty hard. After about the sixth punch he grabbed her fist as she punched again and he pushed back and she falls down. He says she gets up and tries to punch him again and he grabs her fist again and pushes her away and she falls down again," Daily wrote.

Seven other witnesses told police the same version of events as Klingenmeyer.

The fight escalated as Track and another man began swinging punches at Klingenmeyer, the homeowner told officer Benjamin Nelson. At that point several men stepped in to help him, Klingenmeyer told Daily.

"A fight broke out and the Palins ended up losing. (Klingenmeyer) said after it was over that Bristol came up and tried to hit him again but he didn't let her," Daily wrote.

McKenna told police that during the fight he picked Bristol up, carried her into the street and put her down.

"At that point, Todd and Sarah Palin were there asking what happened and he told them to leave. Nobody listened and yet another fight started," Adolf wrote.

Daily described Bristol Palin as "heavily intoxicated and upset." She told Daily that Klingenmeyer had pushed her to the ground and dragged her across the lawn after she had attempted to confront a woman about hitting her younger sister, Willow. Bristol said she was beginning to leave when she saw her brother attacked. She told Daily she "didn't have any clue" whether she hit Klingenmeyer or not.


Klingenmeyer told Daily he was "angry that the Palins had showed up and were causing the problems," and that he was considering filing charges but he later told another officer that he had changed his mind.

The Anchorage municipal prosecutor's office will not be proceeding with charges in the case, according to Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.