A Kodiak man accused of stealing $1,300 worth of shrimp from a vessel and threatening a fisherman has been charged with a felony and several misdemeanors, according to court documents.
Dakota Benton, 24, was charged with assault in the fourth degree for placing his crewmate in fear of physical injury, criminal trespass in the second degree for remaining unlawfully in a propelled vehicle, theft in the second degree, and tampering with physical evidence, state court documents. He is also charged with eight counts of violating conditions of release.
The owner of shrimping vessel Arctic Storm called the Alaska State Troopers about Benton, a crew member on the boat. Two days into the boat’s shrimping operations near Ouzinkie, Benton began acting odd and did not sleep for two days, the owner told a responding trooper.
The woman said she observed Benton sitting at the doorway to his room, watching his roommate sleep.
The crew member later told the woman that Benton had awoken him and threatened to slice his throat because Benton said he was stealing.
The trooper spoke with the crew member, who said he was worried because Benton sounded “sincere,” the documents state. On a scale of one to 10, he rated his fear at a level 10.
Following the end of the shrimping operations, the Arctic Storm returned to Ouzinkie, arriving at 2 a.m. on Sept. 12. The owner told Benton to leave the boat, and to return two days later to get paid for his work.
Around 9 a.m. the crew noticed five 25-pound bags of shrimp were missing from the fish hold, amounting to approximately $1,300. The owner said she did not give permission for Benton to take any shrimp, the documents state.
On Saturday, the trooper received a call from the boat owner, who said someone had seen Benton leaving Ouzinkie heading to Kodiak on a white fiberglass boat with a blue canvas top. The name of the boat was Suzy Q.
Benton and his father were intercepted at the boat launch in Dog Bay Harbor. Benton was arrested on two outstanding warrants.
After being read his Miranda Warning, which he waived, Benton admitted to working on the Arctic Storm but denied stealing shrimp and verbally assaulting his crewmate, according to the documents. He was taken to Kodiak Jail.
The trooper spoke to Benton’s father, who said he went to Ouzinkie to pick up his son. The father told the trooper that Benton pulled out a “bundle of white bags” and placed them on the boat. He told his son to take the bags off the boat and said that Benton dumped them in the ocean.
Troopers then spoke to Benton, reminding him of his Miranda Warning, which he waived, and relaying his father’s report. Benton told the troopers “screw it, I don’t want to talk, you guys already know everything,” state the court documents.
Law enforcement officers found that Benton is on two sets of conditions of release.
Benton’s court hearings will occur at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 and 2:45 on Oct. 4.