By Naomi Klouda
The man charged with failing to stop at the direction of the Homer Police in the midst of the Homer Spit Run, where a runner’s life was endangered, was arrested last week at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Anchorage
Larry C. Volz Jr., 55, is charged with two felony counts, one alleging his failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and the second one charging felony assault for narrowly missing a pedestrian running in the dirt on Kachemak Drive. A third charge is a misdemeanor for reckless driving.
The Homer Spit Run Challenge was in full swing June 23, a race that attracts about 200 runners. Homer Police received a call from a Homer firefighter who identified a license plate he knew, alerting police to be on the lookout for the vehicle. The suspect vehicle, a 1994 Toyota SR5 pickup, was on the Homer Spit near the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon.
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said that officers wanted only to talk with Volz about the reason they were told to be on the lookout for his license plate: Volz was suspected of illegally tapping into FM radio frequencies to make broadcasts that were not permitted through the Federal Communications Commission.
“When we made the initial contact on the Spit, we were stopping him to talk to him and advise him of the complaint. We weren’t going to arrest him. There wasn’t anything at that point to charge him with,” Robl said. “But then he took off and fled at a high rate of speed.”
Knowing the Spit Run made a police chase dangerous, Officers Stacy Luck and Ryan Browning pursued Volz for just a few miles before giving it up. Volz was recorded at speeds of 80 to 105 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone. He had passed cars twice on the Homer Spit Road and didn’t signal when turning onto Kachemak Drive, according to the arresting complaint. His vehicle narrowly missed a runner on the right side of the road.
“The decision was made to terminate following Volz with emergency lights and sirens activated due to public safety concerns,” police reported.
Later, the runner was interviewed by the police, recalling how she had narrowly missed being hit.
“I don’t run on the bike path. I run on the dirt section right next to the bike path, the section between the path and the ocean,” she told police. “He went by me so fast that I didn’t even know what happened. He was going 80 or 90 miles per hour. He was literally so close, I had my music on loud so loud that I didn’t hear him coming and he got right back on the bike path. I had gravel and rocks, dust and sticks flying at me. It was a huge cloud of debris. … I started crying because I realized I was 3 inches from death.”
About an hour and half later, offers in the area of Mile 3 Homer Spit Road heard illegal FM radio transmissions on 105.3 FM. They immediately recognized Volz’s voice, stating at 1:56 p.m. or so he had been “trespassed” against by the Homer Police and officers tried to “lynch” him. Volz also is depicted as stating, “I wasn’t even trying. I hope you guys didn’t hurt anybody back there. I mean it, too. I hope you as—— in law enforcement didn’t hurt somebody trying to cover up for biker scum.”
Homer police called out a warrant for Volz’s arrest on the two charges of assault in the third degree and failure to stop at the direction of a police officer, and for reckless driving.
In Anchorage on June 29, Volz went to the DMV office for an unspecified registration need when a DMV clerk called up his name.
“The clerk ran him and found he was wanted,” Robl said. “She called police and they responded to arrest him there.”
On Friday, the Alaska Superior Court in Kenai indicted Volz on the felony charge of failing to stop at the direction of a peace officer.