- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two 26-year-old Anchorage men were indicted Thursday on charges of assaulting a deputy federal marshal.

Leigaga Amituanai and Sulu Faamolemole were indicted on felony charges stating that they pointed a shotgun at the marshal while the marshal was doing surveillance work on Anchorage’s east side.

Amituanai’s lawyer, federal assistant public defender Darrel Gardner, said he could not comment so early in the case. A message left for Faamolemole’s attorney, Danee Pontious, was not immediately returned.

According to the criminal complaint, a deputy federal marshal, whose name was redacted, on the morning of Feb. 11 was conducting surveillance with the marshals service fugitive task force.

The officer was in the driver’s seat of an unmarked government vehicle backed into a parking space at a commercial building.

At about 10:35 a.m., the marshal saw a pickup with two men approaching in the parking lot from his left side. The pickup was creeping along at just 2-3 mph.

The marshal said the men stared at him, leaned forward, gestured and appeared to say something though windows in both vehicles were closed.

As the pickup passed in front of the marshal from 10 to 15 feet away, the passenger, later identified as Amituanai, lifted a sawed-off shotgun from his lap, pushed the gun against the window and pointed it at the marshal while continuing to stare at him, according to the marshal.

The driver, later identified as Faamolemole, leaned forward and appeared to speak toward the marshal, the marshal reported.

The marshal radioed others on the surveillance team and followed the truck into the parking lot of a grocery store. An Anchorage police squad car pulled up behind the pickup and activated its emergency lights.

The truck sped down a steep embankment that leads to the Glenn Highway and hit a tree. The truck backed up, moved forward, nearly hit a car on the highway and was stopped by other officers on a side street.

Amituanai and a female passenger were detained in the truck. The driver fled on foot but was captured by police.

Investigators with a search warrant seized a shotgun, a loaded handgun and ammunition in the truck. The female was found with several shotgun shells in her jacket.

Amituanai and Faamolemole remained in custody Friday.

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