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Crime & Courts

Charges: Fishing captain assaulted deckhand and pushed him overboard near Kodiak

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: September 9, 2016
  • Published September 9, 2016

The skipper of a fishing vessel has been charged with repeatedly assaulting a crew member and threatening to kill him in waters near Kodiak last month.

Kyle Mead, 39, of Anchorage faces five counts of assault, three of them felonies, following an Aug. 26 incident aboard the fishing vessel Miss Destinee. All five counts are considered acts of domestic violence because both Mead and the crew member were living aboard the vessel at the time.

According to an affidavit against Mead, written by Alaska State Trooper Brock Simmons, Mead reported an assault to Kodiak troopers by satellite phone at about 5 p.m. Aug. 26, saying that the crew member had charged Mead, who had "defended himself." Afterward, Mead said, he told the crew member to remain in his bunk as the Miss Destinee headed for Kodiak.

When troopers spoke with the crew member at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, where he was being treated for minor injuries, he said he had been working for Mead since June.

"During his time on board, (Mead) had made several comments to (the victim) placing him in fear of physical injury," Simmons wrote. "The defendant had told him, 'We're under maritime law out here and it would be easy to make you disappear.'"

The crew member also said that at one point, Mead had been drinking and firing a handgun, and pointed the pistol at him.

At about 1 p.m. Aug. 26, Mead allegedly became "upset" over a seine net being deployed by the victim and other crew members from the vessel's aft deck, the affidavit said. The victim said Mead responded by pushing him to the deck, slapping his head and kicking him in the side, then told him to go to his bunk.

"While (the victim) was lying in his bunk approximately an hour later, the defendant came down below and without warning punched (him) on the right side of his face," Simmons wrote. "The defendant then put (the victim) in a chokehold causing him to become dizzy and preventing him from breathing."

The crew member said he was able to free himself from the chokehold and returned to the Miss Destinee's deck a few hours later. When he saw another fishing vessel he tried to wave it down, yelling that he needed help.

"(Mead) again forcefully pushed him causing him to go over the rail of the boat," Simmons wrote. "(The victim) caught himself on the side with his arms. He was in ocean water up to his waist but was able to pull himself back on board."

Troopers also spoke with a fellow crewman from the Miss Destinee, who corroborated the victim's account of Mead choking him in his bunk and pushing him off the vessel.

A trooper dispatch said Mead was initially held at the Kodiak City Jail without bail, but court records show he posted $1,000 bail. A public defender was appointed to represent him.

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