Arctic Benson Park Bicycle Dispute Shooter in Custody

50-year-old Daren Barnhart. Image-APD
50-year-old Daren Barnhart. Image-APD

Anchorage police reported on Monday that they had responded to Spenard Road on Friday night after the suspect in the Independence Day bicycle dispute shooting at the Arctic Benson Park was sighted in the area.

Anchorage Police CAP officers responded to the 2700 block of Spenard Road at 9:04 PM on Friday and located suspect, Daren Barnhart writing on a bicycle on that roadway. Despite officers activating their lights and sirens, Barnhart rode away on his bicycle, ignoring the officer’s commands.

“Barnhart rode to a field near the Carousel Lounge and hid in the tall grass,” APD reported. A K-9 officer responded and issued several warnings which Barnhart ignored. A short time later, Barnhart jumped from the tall grass where he was hiding and began to run in an attempt to elude officers. K-9 Midas was let loose and pursued Barnhart through the grass. The K-9 made contact, latching onto Barnhart’s right forearm.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adversal-468×60″]

Barnhart was taken into custody and promptly treated for his dog bite before being taken to the hospital to be medically cleared. Once cleared, Barnhart was transported to the Anchorage jail where he was remanded on his warrants for Misconduct Involving a Weapon III (felon in possession) and Fail to Appear in a previous assault case. He was also charged with Resisting Arrest.

The case had its beginnings on July 4th after patrol officers responded to the scene at the Arctic Benson Park at 6:10 PM. Once there, they opened an investigation and found that an adult male in an adult female had gotten into an altercation over a bicycle. An additional three adult males got involved with the dispute, and at one point, Barnhart took out a weapon and shot one of the men in the lower body. After the shooting, the group dispersed. Police reported that alcohol appeared to be a factor in the dispute.

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Barnhart was arraigned in Anchorage District Court on the charges Monday afternoon and was not issued bail. He remains in custody at the Anchorage Jail.