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Press Release

Arvin Kangas Convicted of Assaulting VPSO Sgt. Mark Haglin

December 15, 2014

(Fairbanks, Alaska) – Today, 59-year-old Arvin Morse Kangas pled guilty to a consolidated count of assault in the fourth degree, resolving all of his charges that arose from the incident on April 30, 2014. According to the charges, Kangas placed VPSO Sgt. Mark Haglin in fear of physical injury on two separate occasions—first, by making threats to assault the VPSO, and second, within the next 30 minutes, by pointing in the direction of a long gun (either a rifle, shotgun or pellet gun) while simultaneously looking at the VPSO. Kangas had also been charged with driving while his license was suspended. He was later charged with violating conditions of release.

In exchange for Kangas’ guilty plea, the state dismissed the driving offense and violating conditions of release. Judge Hammers sentenced Kangas to 180 days in jail with 150 days suspended. He was placed on probation for a period of two years under conditions to obey all laws and not tohave contact with VPSO Sgt. Haglin outside of his official duties. Kangas will be required to serve a mandatory minimum 30 day sentence. He has been in custody since May 1, 2014. This resolution was reached after consultation with VPSO Mark Haglin and the Alaska State Troopers. Both AST and VPSO Haglin supported this resolution.

Kangas’ actions on April 30th resulted in a warrant for his arrest and precipitated the response by Trooper Sgt. Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich the next day; both of whom were killed by Arvin Kangas’ son, Nathanial Kangas, while the troopers were arresting Arvin Kangas. Arvin Kangas remains in custody on charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution, which is alleged to have occurred after the two Alaska State Troopers were killed.

At sentencing, Assistant Attorney General Greggory Olson told Judge Hammers, “While this is a significant sentence for verbally threatening a peace officer, it is hoped that the sentence will deter others from this sort of conduct. Our VPSO’s and VPO’s serve an important function in our most isolated communities and should not be placed in fear of being physically injured for performing their important roles in our communities.”

The cases against Arvin Kangas and his son, Nathanial Kangas, based on the events of May 1, 2014 are ongoing, and as such, no additional details will be released at this time. The guilty plea today only relates to the events of April 30, 2014.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Greggory Olson at 907.269.6250 or gregg.olson@alaska.gov.

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