Crime & Courts

Trooper fires on driver in chase near Dillingham

An Alaska state trooper fired on a woman who tried to run him over during a Wednesday chase near Dillingham, according to troopers and charging documents.

Public radio station KDLG reported that the encounter in Aleknagik, about 15 miles from Dillingham in Southwest Alaska, led to the arrest of 38-year-old Mary Tilden and her passenger, 23-year-old Manuel Brito. Nobody was struck by the trooper's gunfire.

An affidavit in the case obtained by KDLG said Dillingham police tried to stop Tilden's pickup in Dillingham at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and arrest her on warrants for theft and vehicle theft. Instead, police said, she drove off and led a chase toward Aleknagik.

After being pursued for about an hour by police and troopers, police said, Tilden rammed two trooper vehicles on Foxville Road in Aleknagik, causing arm pain to a trooper in one of the vehicles.

According to a trooper dispatch on the encounter, a second trooper at the scene opened fire on the truck.

"During the incident, the driver accelerated toward a trooper that was standing outside his patrol car, at which time the trooper discharged their firearm at the oncoming vehicle," troopers wrote.

Tilden and Brito were arrested shortly afterward, after the truck went down an embankment, KDLG reported. One of the troopers was taken to the local hospital and evaluated for minor injuries, according to the dispatch.

Court records Friday showed Tilden was originally charged with attempted murder in the case. She now faces a dozen counts including assault, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and failing to give immediate notice of a collision. KDLG reported that Brito is also charged with burglary and theft.

Tilden and Brito were arraigned Thursday in Dillingham, where a judge appointed public defenders for both of them.

Dillingham police are still investigating the incident, troopers said, while the Alaska Bureau of Investigation examines the trooper-involved shooting. The troopers involved in the incident will be identified after 72 hours, in accordance with Department of Public Safety policy.

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