Crime & Courts

APD: Man with guns, knife, drugs who ran from traffic stop tackled by officer in school parking lot

An Anchorage man who fled from police Monday night after a traffic stop now faces 12 charges related to weapons and drugs misconduct, according to police.

Rusty M. Parrish, 31, was in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on Tuesday afternoon, according to online records.

At 11: 22 p.m., Parrish was seen driving a Honda at the intersection of Lake Otis Parkway and Northern Lights Boulevard. An Anchorage Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop.

Parrish indicated to the officer that he would pull into a parking lot, but instead of waiting for the light to turn green, he ran the red light and drove to the parking lot, police said.

When the officer approached Parrish, Parrish gave him a fake name and date of birth. The officer asked if Parrish had any weapons in the vehicle, and he said he didn't, according to police.

The officer went back to his car to start doing paperwork. Parrish stepped out of his car, saying he wanted to smoke, but the officer told him to get back in his car, police said. As Parrish turned, the officer spotted a "large knife" clipped to Parrish's pants pocket, police said.

"The officer requested backup units and then ordered Parrish to take off the knife and toss it in the back of the car.  Parrish dropped the knife to the ground and then put his hands up," police said.


At that point, according to police, Parrish started walking backward and then ran. An officer chased him, yelling commands that Parrish ignored, police said. Parrish threw aside two objects during the chase before the officer tackled Parrish in a snowbank in the parking lot of Wendler Middle School, police said.

The whole incident, from the time Parrish was asked to stop in his car to when he was tackled, lasted about 10 minutes, said Anchorage Police Department spokesperson MJ Thim

A pat-down of Parrish uncovered two "empty under-the-armpit gun holsters," a plastic bag with methamphetamine inside, and another bag containing prescription pills, police said.

Retracing Parrish's steps, officers found two loaded guns that Parrish had ditched as he fled, police said.

Police found more drugs — marijuana and prescription pills — and drug paraphernalia in Parrish's car, Thim said.

Thim didn't know how much marijuana was found in the car or whether any of the pills that were seized were prescribed to Parrish.

Thim said the incident signified why traffic enforcement — beefed up by an increase in Anchorage patrol officers — was so important.

"We have more patrol officers on the street so we're able to conduct more traffic stops," Thim said.

Police say that Parrish faces 12 charges: three counts of misconduct involving a weapon in the third degree, misconduct involving a weapon in the second degree, misconduct involving a weapon in the fifth degree, two counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree, three counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree, providing false information, and resisting arrest.

Charging documents had not been filed as of Tuesday afternoon, online records show.

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.