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Crime & Courts

Fisherman steals a King Salmon fire truck, drives to bar with emergency lights on

An Eagle River man stole a fire truck from the King Salmon Fire Station on Saturday night and drove 15 miles with lights flashing to a bar where he was arrested, police said.

Dawson Cody Porter, 22, used a piece of lumber to break a window of the fire station and made his way inside the building around 9 p.m., the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department said in an online statement. Once inside, Porter started a fire truck and drove it through the station’s closed bay doors. Police Chief John Rhyshek said no one was in the building when Porter broke in.

Porter switched on the fire truck’s emergency overhead lights and headed west toward Naknek, 15 miles down the Alaska Peninsula Highway. Rhyshek estimates that Porter was driving the fire truck for less than a half hour before he parked in front of the Fisherman’s Bar.

Two Bristol Bay officers made contact with Porter before he got out of the fire truck and he was arrested outside the bar, Rhyshek said.

It’s unclear why Porter stole the firetruck and headed to the Naknek bar, but Rhyshek said the investigation is ongoing. Porter is from Eagle River but was in King Salmon working as a fisherman, Rhyshek said.

In total, Porter caused roughly $10,000 worth of damage and made it so the firetruck, which is valued at about $100,000, was out of service temporarily as it awaited necessary repairs.

Porter is being held at the Bristol Bay Detention Facility on charges of burglary, vehicle theft, criminal mischief and violating conditions of release on a previous arrest, police said.

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