Man sought in Switzer arrested

Police say they have arrested a 38-year-old man for allegedly assaulting a woman and stealing a car in the Lemon Creek area Thursday morning.

While driving down Glacier Highway shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, a Juneau Police Department officer spotted the suspect, Laron Carlton Graham, near Western Auto Marine, according to police spokesman Lt. David Campbell. The officer arrested Graham without incident and took him to Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Police said they recovered the stolen car, a blue 2000 Subaru, a few hours earlier at 7 p.m. Thursday in the 1800 block of Patti Avenue. The car is being held as evidence.

District Court Judge Keith Levy had Graham removed from the courtroom during his arraignment Friday afternoon after Graham interrupted court proceedings several times, accusing the state of conspiring against him on numerous occasions. Graham didn’t elaborate any further on those claims.

“I understand that you are trying to frame the rabbit, and I’m not Roger,” Graham said as the court security officer escorted him out of the courtroom. “I want justice. I don’t want y’all to keep thinking y’all going to railroad Mr. Graham; it’s not going to happen.”

Levy set Graham’s bail at $35,000 cash, which Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp recommended during the hearing. She called Graham a flight risk and argued that he is a “community safety concern,” citing his criminal record, which spans multiple states.

Graham has a non-extraditable warrant out for his arrest in Georgia where he also had a felony drug offense and assault offenses, Kemp told the Empire after the court hearing. He also has a record here in Juneau. Last month he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, for which he was only released from LCCC on Monday, Kemp said.

“He was sentenced on that and released, and then within a week, roughly, of having been released, he’s committing this new offense where he repeatedly threatened the life of (the alleged victim) whilst she was holding a very young infant child,” Kemp said in court.

According to a police complaint filed in court Friday, investigators believe that Graham went to a woman’s apartment in the 1800 block of Northwood Drive — from which he had previously been issued a criminal trespass notice — Thursday morning. He allegedly entered the woman’s apartment, slapped her in the face and “forcefully stole” a car that a friend had loaned her. Graham and the woman had previously been romantically involved, according to the complaint.

Police said in a press release that the woman’s face was injured, but she didn’t require medical attention.

Now, Graham faces a “plethora of charges,” police spokesman Campbell said by phone. Charging court documents show the District Attorney’s Office charged Graham with robbery in the second degree, vehicle theft in the first degree, assault in the fourth degree and criminal trespass in the first degree. The robbery charge is a class B felony that can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the vehicle theft is a class C felony that can carry up to five years in prison, and the assault and criminal mischief charges are class A misdemeanors that have a maximum possible penalty of one year in prison. The robbery, assault and criminal trespass charges are all related to domestic violence aspect of the incident, the charges indicate.

The investigation received attention on social media Thursday afternoon when two plain-clothes detectives searching for Graham in Switzer Village Mobile Park were identified as “gunmen” on Juneau Facebook groups.

“There wasn’t anything nefarious going on, and nobody was at risk,” JPD spokesman Campbell told the Empire Thursday afternoon.

Both detectives were wearing bullet-proof vests and at least one was carrying a rifle.

JPD detectives don’t wear the blue JPD uniforms people are accustomed to seeing on patrol officers. One of the detectives in Switzer on Thursday was also wearing a bulkier vest than usual, which may have further thrown people off.

The Juneau Police Department posted an update on its Facebook page Thursday to quell any fear caused by earlier reports on social media.

Graham is next scheduled to appear in Juneau court on Tuesday.

• Contact reporter Sam DeGrave at 523-2279 or sam.degrave@juneauempire.com.

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