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Crime & Courts

Armed felon in car apprehended after South Anchorage standoff

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: July 8, 2016
  • Published May 18, 2016

Police used gas and a Taser to end an hours-long standoff in South Anchorage Tuesday night, arresting a man in a car they say slammed into an officer's vehicle during an afternoon chase.

According to a police statement on the case, 31-year-old William Hopster was taken into custody on East 68th Avenue, off Lake Otis Parkway south of Dowling Road, at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday. No injuries to Hopster, or the officer whose vehicle was struck, were reported during the incident.

Police had been told shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday that Hopster was illegally carrying a gun as a convicted felon and that "he had made threats to harm himself, others, and officers."

After a search, officers spotted Hopster in his vehicle at about 2:15 p.m., confirming that he was armed. Probation officers were working on an arrest warrant for Hopster, who was followed by police in unmarked APD vehicles until it was obtained.

"At 4:11 p.m. both marked and unmarked patrol units attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Hopster who was the only occupant inside the vehicle," police wrote. "Hopster rammed one of the police cars, failed to comply with officers' directions, and the standoff began."

Police closed a stretch of East 68th between Askeland Drive and Stella Place during the standoff, evacuating nearby residences and businesses as they tried to talk Hopster into surrendering.

"After several hours of negotiating, and with Hopster still not complying with instructions, gas was deployed into Hopster's vehicle," police wrote. "Hopster exited the vehicle through the sunroof but still refused to comply with officers' orders. Hopster was then Tased and taken into custody at 9:47 p.m."

Medics at the scene evaluated Hopster, who was arrested and held at the Anchorage Jail.

Court records show Hopster pled guilty to a felony count of second-degree misconduct involving controlled substances in a 2008 Anchorage case.

Hopster was also arrested by Anchorage police along with another man, 28-year-old Clay Millhouse, after a February 2014 carjacking and subsequent chase.

Hopster had faced charges of robbery and assault in that case, but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor misconduct involving controlled substances and violating conditions of his release.

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