An armed carjacker was taken into custody Friday morning after a search that shut down East Anchorage streets during the early-morning commute, police said.
An Alaska Native Medical Center employee called 911 at 5:45 a.m. to say she was carjacked at gunpoint in the parking lot by a man who drove away in her black Dodge Charger, Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim said. She wasn’t hurt.
The suspect, identified by police as 25-year-old Cordy Martin, was spotted driving recklessly at a high rate of speed on Boniface Parkway approaching Fourth Avenue, according to an APD release Friday.
A police pursuit was underway at the time after officers spotted the stolen car on Boniface, Thim said.
But Martin “was already driving at a high rate of speed, he was already driving recklessly,” he said.
Martin lost control of the Charger, crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with another car, Thim said. The car was a Ford sedan.
A rollover resulted in minor injuries to the Ford’s driver, who was taken to the hospital, he said. Martin fled on foot into the area between Fourth and Sixth avenues, and police set up a perimeter.
A K-9 named Alex and part of the police force’s SWAT team began a search.
Martin was found hiding in a boat in the 300 block of Boniface Parkway around 7:30 a.m., Thim said. Officers called out commands but Martin ignored them. Alex was sent in.
“He did bite the suspect,” Thim said. Martin was taken to the hospital for the dog bite and later transported to police headquarters for questioning.
Katherine Carlson, a barista at the nearby Caffe D’Arte coffee cart, said she had just arrived for work shortly before 6 a.m. when she heard a loud crash.
She looked outside, saw the Dodge Charger rolling and ran to help.
“He’s like flying over, so I ran over there because I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, someone is probably hurt.’ This car just flipped over like three times,” she said.
She said a woman stumbled out of the car as well as a man, and both took off running.
“It was like a movie,” she said. “One ran on each side of me. I was like, ‘OK.’ “
“I’m really blessed I didn’t get hurt at all. I mean the guy ran right by me, literally just feet away. He could have grabbed me, held me hostage. I just was standing there, like, ‘OK, God’s got it in control.’ “
Police cars were already rushing to the scene, and she said the woman was quickly apprehended and put into a police car. The man kept running.
The woman, Kaleea Fox, 18, was questioned by detectives after she was taken into custody, Thim said.
She has been transported to jail and faces first-degree robbery and vehicle theft, as well as lesser charges for assault and misconduct involving a controlled substance.
“We found meth on her,” Thim said.
Martin faces charges that include first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and first-degree vehicle theft, police said.
Lt. John McKinnon said a preliminary review shows the crash was not caused by the police pursuit. It appears Martin lost control of the Dodge.
“The big thing here was APD was able to respond quickly, engage a lot of resources quickly and bring this person into custody,” McKinnon said.
Police couldn’t say how many officers were involved or where the pursuit began on Boniface.
Thim said Martin refused to stop despite “multiple officers in vehicles with their lights flashing” and sirens on behind him.
“We were trying to bring him to a stop but before we could even move into the next steps of the pursuit, he crossed over into oncoming traffic,” he said.
Update: This story has been corrected to say the carjacking occurred at Alaska Native Medical Center, not Alaska Regional Hospital.