Crime & Courts

Woman arrested after nude rampage at East Anchorage Subway, APD says

A woman was arrested at an East Anchorage Subway restaurant Tuesday night after what police described as a destructive rampage in the nude.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said Wednesday morning that 35-year-old Nikki Abrell was held on a felony count of third-degree criminal mischief, as well as misdemeanor charges of third-degree criminal mischief and resisting arrest.

Jennifer Castro, the department's communications director, said the call from the restaurant in the Chugach Square shopping area on Tudor Road initially came in at about 7:30 p.m. as a request for officers to check on the welfare of a woman locked in the sandwich shop's bathroom.

"She'd been in the bathroom for over an hour," Castro said. "They kept banging on the door to check on her -- she said she'd come out, but she never did."

About an hour later, Castro said, the incident took a violent turn before the restaurant's scheduled closing time at 9 p.m.

"About 8:20, we're getting reports that this woman is now naked inside the store and she's tearing the store apart," Castro said. "The other employees had evacuated themselves out of the store and she was locked inside the store, tearing everything up."

Callers reporting a potential fire at the restaurant were mistaken, according to police.

"There were also reports that people were seeing smoke from inside the restaurant, but it was actually discharge from a fire extinguisher," Castro said.

Shell said the restaurant sustained an estimated $20,000 in damage during the incident, with food scattered everywhere and bottled drinks spilled. The restaurant's toilet was destroyed and its cash register and refrigerator were thrown to the floor; an exit sign was left dangling from the ceiling and tables were upended.

"That's a small little location, but she did a number on it," Shell said.

No injuries were reported in the incident and Shell said there weren't any reports of customers at the restaurant when the rampage took place. Abrell was taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation of possible Spice use, then held at the Anchorage jail on $10,000 bail.

Asked why police suspected she'd used Spice, APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad said, "The behavior suggested there was a substance (in her system) -- we have no confirmation yet that that was the case."

An employee at the restaurant, as well as Subway of Alaska's corporate office, declined comment Wednesday morning and referred questions to Subway national spokeswoman Alison Goldberg. Goldberg called the situation "an unfortunate incident" Wednesday but deferred further questions to Anchorage police.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.