A 22-year-old man tried “to bait officers into several pursuits” while recklessly driving a stolen security vehicle early Tuesday morning, Anchorage police said.
Jasten K. Fujishiro was remanded at the Anchorage jail and faces 15 charges, including first-degree vehicle theft, second-degree theft, three counts of third-degree assault, two counts of failure to stop, four counts of leaving the scene of a crash, violation of conditions of release, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, according to the Anchorage Police Department.
It started around 1 a.m. Tuesday, when a security guard at the Holiday gas station near 36th Avenue and C Street was in the process of removing Fujishiro from the property for trespassing, according to a police alert Thursday. Fujishiro stole the guard’s security vehicle, a 2014 Nissan Xterra, and drove away, police said.
About an hour later, someone reported to police dispatch that a security vehicle had hit his car after running a red light at Tudor Road and the Seward Highway, APD said. The caller said the security vehicle was being driven erratically before the wreck, didn’t stop afterward and then sped through another red light while leaving the scene, according to police.
At 2:39 a.m., police said, they located the stolen Xterra at the Old Seward Highway and Dowling Road. As officers headed that way, the Xterra wound up between two patrol cars approaching the intersection of Dimond Boulevard and Old Seward, according to police. The Xterra accelerated, wove around the police car ahead of it and ran a red light, APD said. Officers did not pursue the vehicle.
Shortly afterward, police said, Fujishiro repeatedly drove past officers conducting a traffic stop farther north on the Old Seward, at 69th Avenue. He “would slow down, flip off the officers, and swerve like he was trying to hit either the officers and/or their patrol vehicles,” according to police. Again, officers did not engage.
Then at 3:25 a.m., Fujishiro started following an officer driving in Midtown, accelerating rapidly through the intersection of A Street and 36th Avenue until the officer — “who thought he was about to get hit” — started speeding up too, police said. Fujishiro backed off, but then rear-ended the patrol car after it had stopped at a red light, according to police.
He backed off again, then started speeding up toward the officer’s damaged patrol car, police said. The officer accelerated, along with Fujishiro, and police tried to block the stolen security vehicle once they arrived in the area, according to APD.
Fujishiro refused to stop, APD said, and police called off the pursuit when he sped through downtown, “where snow removal workers were operating and pedestrians were walking.” When police regrouped in the area, officers found that Fujishiro had actually hit another two patrol cars, in addition to the one he rear-ended, according to APD. No one was injured.
Finally, at 3:46 a.m., officers were able to block in and stop the stolen Xterra near West Benson Boulevard and Cheechako Street, according to police.
APD said Fujishiro was taken into custody after complying with officers’ demands.