- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An armed Chickaloon man who confronted a party of river rafters, claiming they were trespassing when they landed Monday along the Chickaloon River, has been charged with four counts of felony assault.

The party came to shore after one of their four rafts struck something in the river and flipped, placing everybody in the raft, mostly juveniles, into the water, Alaska State Troopers said.

As the rafters assembled on the river’s east bank, they were confronted by Bruce Harrison, 56, of Chickaloon.

According to troopers, Harrison, armed with a knife, yelled and swore at the group, saying the rafters were trespassing. He threatened to cut two boats that had pulled along the bank. The boats moved into deeper water to get away.

A guide who was out of his raft and attempting to help juveniles in the water tried to explain the situation, troopers said, and Harrison pointed the knife at the guide.

Harrison approached a third raft, holding five juveniles, that had been tied to a tree.

Some of juveniles were crying, troopers said, and they pleaded with Harrison not to untie the boat because they did not have a guide on board and they could not control it in fast water.

Troopers said Harrison untied the boat and kicked it into fast water. As the raft moved toward rapids, the guide on shore jumped into the river, climbed on board and took control of the raft.

Besides the four felony assault counts, state prosecutors in Palmer charged Harrison with one misdemeanor assault count.

Online court records Tuesday did not list an attorney for Harrison. He was jailed at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer.

A rafting guide with Nova River Runners reported the incident.

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