Anchorage police credit a call and by a citizen for the apprehension of the suspect and at least a dozen charges being leveled against the suspected DUI driver.
The call-in, at 9:50 AM on December 2 reported a blue Chrysler van swerving and crossing over the center line and driving on the curb in the area of C St., Foxridge Way. The caller remained on the line while following the suspect vehicle, keeping the police updated as to the vehicle’s whereabouts. Shen soon said that the driver was at the light at the intersection of Dimond and C Street and had apparently passed out. This was not so, and soon Northway was moving again. Police were also informed that there was possibly a child suspect car. This was later to be found out as unfounded.
As an officer was responding to the scene, he spotted the vehicle in the area of Old Seward and Dimond Boulevard traveling eastbound. A second officer said that she attempted to initiate a traffic stop at Abbott Road and Vanguard, but the driver refused to yield.
A short pursuit ensued but was broken off at Abbott Road and Vanguard after the suspect driver hit three other vehicles including a patrol car during the chase and continued to flee.
Patrol officers continued to seek vehicle, and six minutes later, they spotted it parked on an access road behind the building at 3101 Science Circle. Seeing fresh footprints in the snow, the officers followed them to a nearby parking garage. One of the pursuing officers entered the garage and found the suspect, now identified as 24-year-old Della Northway, in the stairwell.
When commanded to put her hands behind her back Northway attempted to run out the door, but was grabbed by the officer. As she physically resisted, Northway continually attempted to reach into her pocket.
When a second officer arrived at the location in the stairwell. The pair was successful in taking Northway to ground.
Officers located Northway’s purse underneath the stairwell where she was originally contacted. Inside the handbag, a handgun was found as well as a “substance in a syringe which field-tested positive for methamphetamine,” APD said.
Northway was ultimately charged with DUI, Misconduct Involving Controlled Substance V, Fail to Stop, Misconduct Involving a Weapon II, Criminal Mischief III, Assault IV, Misconduct Involving a Weapon III-Felon in Possession, Or reckless Driving, Driving on a Suspended License, three counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Resisting Arrest.
All of the occupants of the three vehicles struck by Northway while trying to escape were uninjured.
Northway was remanded to the Anchorage Correctional Complex.