Troopers have their hands full arresting Ekwok man Tuesday

Jul 20, 2016

An intoxicated Fred T. Hurley III, 24, alleged to have broken into VPSO building, forced entry into a home, exposed himself to a woman, kicked and punched troopers, and tried to kick the door of the plane open enroute back to Dillingham. 

Fred Tom Hurley III, 24, was arrested Tuesday in Ekwok. Troopers say he fought with them several times, was tasered, and tried to kick the airplane door open on the trip to Dillingham.
Credit Dillingham Police Dept.

KDLG:  Fred T. Hurley III, 24, from Ekwok was arrested Tuesday on 17 new charges, including five felonies, and transported by air to Dillingham.

Troopers described a lengthy struggle that resulted in officers being kicked and punched, and Hurley trying to kick open the door of the plane while enroute to Dillingham. He was tasered numerous times. With additional charges of vehicle theft and escape pending from earlier in the month, and a growing criminal history, the magistrate judge set his bail at $100,000 plus a third party custodian. 

The incident began a little past midnight on Tuesday, when state troopers in Dillingham were contacted by an Ekwok resident concerned that Hurley was intoxicated and was asking for a firearm because he had been fighting with some people. 

Two state troopers traveled to the village on a common carrier flight at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. A resident took them to the house Hurley had allegedly forced his way into, took off all his clothes, and passed out, unwelcome, in a bedroom. The two officers woke him up and informed Hurley he was being arrested as per a warrant on the earlier charges. In their affidavit, troopers say he resisted but was eventually handcuffed. They found a steak knife and an unlit match in his clothes. 

The troopers next investigated a reported break-in at the Village Public Safety Office building. The door had been forced open and damaged, and the shoe prints around the doorway matched the footwear Hurley was wearing, said the investigators. There was a burned match on the computer, and a pile of burnt papers just outside the office. 

Meanwhile, Hurley had slipped his handcuffs from behind him to the front, and was becoming "combative and dangerous." Troopers decided to pull him from the patrol vehicle to better restrain him. While doing so, Hurley kicked trooper David Eastwood-Kolezar in both knees, then tried crawling underneath the vehicle to escape. Trooper Ethan Norwood said he then tasered Hurley "multiple times during the course of this fight."

According to their affidavit, once secured back in the vehicle, Hurley told the troopers, "You are going to have to shoot me because I am not going to Dillingham. I will make the plane crash." Another ground fight ensued between the patrol vehicle and the aircraft. During the flight, Hurley asked if the troopers wanted the door open, and then attempted to kick it open, alarming the pilot who had to take "his attention away from flying the aircraft." 

When the plane landed safely, Hurley was booked on 17 new charges, including assault, burglary, trespassing, indecent exposure, criminally negligent burning, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest. 

Hurley was also booked on charges pursuant to a warrant from earlier in July. According to the charging documents from that case, on July 9 he allegedly stole a skiff in New Stuyahok while he was intoxicated. The Village Police Officer saw the skiff in question drifting down river, caught it and towed it back to the village. Hurley was inside the skiff, passed out. He was placed in Title 47 protective custody in the VPSO holding facility. That evening, he escaped from the jail while the guard allowed him to use the bathroom. Late that night he allegedly stole another skiff, but the owner told authorities it only had about a gallon of gas, and he watched as Hurley ran out of fuel and begin drifting downriver. The next day, the VPO and two others took a skiff down to Ekwok and found the stolen boat, but not the suspect. Hurley was charged with two counts of first degree vehicle theft, and one count of second degree escape, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

Hurley tried to evade arrest last November by attempting to swim across the chilly Nushagak, an effort that didn’t last long. He has a growing record of interactions with law enforcement, but was acquitted on other burglary and vehicle theft charges after a trial this spring in Dillingham. 

Reach the author at dave@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.