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Crime & Justice

Troopers: McCarthy locals disarm man who showed up at lodge with gun

When a 33-year-old man reportedly showed up in the isolated town of McCarthy with a gun threatening to kill the owner of the McCarthy Lodge on Saturday afternoon, neighbors jumped into the fray, subduing him until Alaska State Troopers arrived.

No one was hurt in the incident, troopers said in an online dispatch.

Troopers said they received 911 calls from McCarthy, a small town of only about 30 year-round residents located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, at about 3:04 p.m. Saturday. The callers said a disgruntled former employee -- identified by troopers as 33-year-old Josh Pratt of Talkeetna -- had a gun, seemed to be intoxicated and was making threats against his former boss, the owner of the McCarthy Lodge.

Neil Darish, the lodge owner, said he didn't want to say much about the specifics of the incident or what led up to it.

But he praised the quick response of his neighbors.

Word traveled quickly that an armed man was on the streets of the town looking for him, Darish said.

"A number of community members, it kind of floored me, said 'don't come out of the house. Lock your doors,' " he said. "And they were standing in the street, trying to disarm him."

One man even walked down to the river with Pratt, talking with him and trying to get him to drop the gun, Darish said.

"He was instrumental in subduing him," Darish said.

Community members held the man until troopers arrived.

Troopers responded quickly to the remote town, Darish said. He believes they flew in and were on the ground in an hour or so.

Pratt was arrested on felony assault charges as well as a charge of misconduct involving a weapon, and was taken to the Glennallen trooper detachment pending arraignment.

Darish said the incident was unfortunate but an example of how McCarthy residents pull together in times of trouble.

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