Driver in police chase remains unnamed

A 22-year-old Juneau man who led police on a late night chase on Saturday isn’t facing charges and remains unnamed, but police expect that to change later this week.

Juneau Police Department Deputy Chief Ed Mercer told the Empire by phone Tuesday that the driver was admitted to Bartlett Regional Hospital after he crashed an allegedly stolen Ford F-150 into a ditch near False Outer Point in Douglas. Officers initially reported the driver’s injuries as “minor,” but Mercer said officers Saturday night thought it was more important the driver remain in hospital care than be taken into custody. Because the driver was not officially arrested or taken into custody, the police department is not releasing his name at this time.

Mercer said he could not comment on whether the man was still hospitalized Tuesday. He did say the department has forward the charges they recommended for the driver to the Juneau District Attorney’s office. The driver’s name and more details about the case should be available Friday, presuming the DA’s office accepts JPD’s recommendations and presents the case to a Juneau grand jury.

Police say the man was seen driving erratically on Channel Vista Drive near the Juneau Empire building and near BRH when officers spotted him. The chase ended in Douglas less than an hour later, but not before the driver allegedly put other drivers and pedestrians in danger while driving on the wrong side of the road during much of the chase.

The department recommended the driver be charged with felony vehicle theft in the first degree, felony failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and a misdemeanor charge for driving under the influence.

• Contact reporter Paula Ann Solis at 523-2272 or

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