HEIDI ZEMACH for SCN -
Alaska State Troopers now believe that more than one inmate was involved in the assault of an inmate at Spring Creek Correctional Center Friday afternoon, December 6th, and that it had been planned. But no one else has yet been charged. Fellow prisoners who were there at the time are not being very forthcoming with details about the incident, however, added Trooper Public Information Officer Megan Peters.
Troopers are still investigating the assault of Forrest Ahvakana, age 48 of Anchorage, who has been listed in critical condition after arrival at the Alaska Regional Hospital, where he was life-flighted from Seward Friday night. Inmate Jason Rak, age 25, of Anchorage is being held as the key suspect, and is facing charges from the Anchorage District Attorney’s office. Spring Creek Sargent named Stiller reported the incident at about 7:35 Friday evening, according to a trooper release.
The Alaska Department of Corrections isn’t discussing the assault much either, and says that is because the case is still being investigated by state troopers, and also internally by the department, said DOC spokesperson Kaci Schroeder.
“We’re not issuing any statement,” she said.
Meanwhile, Schroeder said the mod in Spring Creek’s Segregation unit has been cleaned up from damages incurred during the prisoner revolt or “disturbance” the evening of August 5-6th, 2013, and the new metal toilets have been ordered. The cells that had the toilets and sinks damaged are not yet back in service, however.* Fourteen maximum-security prisoners collectively smashed porcelain toilets, sinks, and possibly some windows, and their cell floors were flooded before that disturbance was finally quelled by the 8:00 a.m. morning shift, nine hours after it had begun.
A local corrections officer, badly wounded in an attack against him by three inmates in October 2012, was later fired for carrying a knife inside the prison for self-protection after threats had been made against him. Two of the other inmates were also injured, and required medical care following that assault.
Spring Creek is the state’s maximum security facility, with about 315 inmates, all convicted of felonies. The inmate population has been reduced over the past year or two as the state DOC continues trying to hire new officers to fill the 30 positions lost after the state began ramping up the new Goose Creek medium security facility in the Mat Su Valley, and instituted a new corrections officers schedule policy, moving from an 84-hour work schedule to a 42- hour work schedule (from 12 hour to 8 hour shifts), and lowering staffing minimums.
* (DOC’ spokesperson Staci Schroeder researched this matter further, and corrected what she had stated in this article earlier.)