- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A driver confronted on his all-terrain vehicle by an armed, off-duty Alaska corrections officer is suing for damages.

The lawsuit filed by Devarge Walker of Fairbanks says Gregory Braeuer, who is no longer employed by the Alaska Department of Corrections, improperly used deadly force in the confrontation in which he ordered Walker to the ground.

Braeuer put Walker in fear of his life by brandishing a handgun, the lawsuit says.

Braeuer’s conduct was outrageous, reckless, criminal and malicious, the lawsuit adds. Walker seeks punitive damages without naming an amount.

“We haven’t determined that yet,” said Walker’s attorney, John Franich, who filed the lawsuit last week in Fairbanks Superior Court.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Braeuer said that on the advice of his attorney, he would have no comment.

The incident was captured on video by a camera mounted on Walker’s ATV.

Walker on May 29 drove his ATV on a gravel road in North Pole, a city of 2,100 about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) south of Fairbanks.

Walker, driving with two other ATVs behind him, stopped when Braeuer drove his truck out of his driveway and partially blocked the road.

Braeuer approached on foot, grabbed the handlebars of the four-wheeler and said, “This isn’t a racetrack.”

The lawsuit describes what happened next as a scuffle. Walker cursed and pushed Braeuer’s hands off the handlebars.

Braeuer walked to his truck and retrieved a handgun. According to the lawsuit, he chambered a round. On the video, he’s heard telling Walker, “Get on the ground right now.” At one point Braeuer says, “Here’s my badge.”

The video shows Walker dropping to his knees. The men argue, others on the scene speak and Walker eventually gets back on his ATV and drives off.

Walker told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner afterward he thought Braeuer would be arrested. Instead, Alaska State Troopers arrested Walker on July 5 on a misdemeanor assault charge.

District Attorney Greggory Olson viewed Walker’s video and dropped the charge. Braeuer’s involvement was referred to the Office of Special Prosecutions, which reviews conduct of law enforcement and correction officials, Olson told the Fairbanks newspaper. He has not been charged, according to online court records.

Braeuer was hired in January 2006, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Megan Edge said in an email response to questions. He was placed on administrative leave May 30, and his last day at work was July 28.

Edge said she could not comment on circumstances of his departure because of the department is prohibited from giving out personnel information.


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