On Saturday, Alaska State Troopers cautioned the public to not pick up hitch-hikers in the area of mile 52 of the Seward Highway after four aborted attempts to apprehend a suspect that they initially contacted at the Centennial Lake area in Kasilof on Saturday.
Wildlife Troopers report that they contacted a man, they later would identify as 32-year-old Andre Tanner of Anchorage, while conducting checks of resource users at the lake on Saturday morning. When they contacted Tanner, he was driving a silver Honda Civic. The troopers report that at that time, Tanner appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Tanner provided a false name to troopers, then sped away from the parking lot at a high rate of speed, troopers say.
Troopers gave chase as Tanner sped away in excess of 80 miles-per-hour on Tustumena Lake Road, but soon gave up because of road conditions.
Soon after, troopers would re-acquire Tanner as he was speeding through the Kasilof area on the Sterling Highway. Troopers once again gave chase through Soldotna and to the north of the city as Tanner continued to elude them, passing multiple vehicles as he did so. Because of public safety concerns, the chase was once again terminated.
Approximately 20 minutes later, State Park Rangers would pick up Tanner’s trail once again and Park Rangers and Alaska State Troopers would again re-initiate pursuit near mile 60 of the Sterling Highway. Shortly thereafter, the pursuing authorities would lose sight of Tanner again, and again the chase was terminated.
Troopers would again spot Tanner at mile 49 of the Seward Highway and spike strips were deployed. The spike strips did their job and Tanner’s tires were deflated, but Tanner would exit his vehicle and flee on foot on the north side of the highway.
Additional State Troopers, Park Rangers, and Law Enforcement Officers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Forest Service responded to the scene and began an extensive search through the woods in the area. Despite bringing in a K-9 unit and Helo-3, Tanner would continue to elude his pursuers.
Troopers advise that Tanner is wanted on a felony warrant, but a search of court records failed to show a warrant or the nature of that warrant.
Troopers warn motorists to avoid picking up hitch-hikers in the area of mile 52 of the Seward Highway. Troopers describe Tanner as a 155 lb white male wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Troopers are asking anyone that may have seen a male fitting that description to contact them at 907-262-4453.