A fisherman who was charged last week for assault at Bernie’s Bar is facing more charges, along with another fishermen, after the two men allegedly started a second fight after they had been kicked out of the bar.
Larry Bell III, 39, and Simanu Taa, 30, are charged with assault in the second degree and assault in the fourth degree, according to court documents.
On Aug. 6 around 1:19 a.m., the Kodiak Police Department received a call from a woman reporting that someone had been kicked out of Bernie’s Bar in downtown Kodiak, walked by her son’s vehicle and punched her son in his face, splitting his lip.
Later that day, her son spoke to police while wearing an immobile brace on his leg, and his knee appeared red and swollen, said the police in an affidavit.
After being questioned, he reportedly told police that he had fractured his kneecap while in a fight the previous night.
He also said he and his fiancée were picking up a family member from one of the bars downtown. While there, he saw a friend of his catcalled by Taa and Bell while leaving the bar.
The man allegedly told the two men to leave his friend alone, as she had a boyfriend and was a minor, he told police.
According to court documents, the victim said one of the men, who was later identified as Taa, confronted him and punched him in the mouth, reaching through the car window to do so. The man exited his car and a fight ensued between the two men.
A second individual, later identified as Bell, joined the fight, punching the victim in the mouth two times, said the police affidavit.
The victim reportedly told police that Bell and Taa “got [him] to the ground,” and caused him to fracture his kneecap.
The police had arrested Taa earlier that morning on charges relating to another assault at Bernie’s Bar early on the morning of Aug. 6. Taa’s recollection of what happened corroborated what the victim told him.
The police also spoke to the women whom the two men had allegedly catcalled. She said she had been in the area for 45 minutes before the altercation and had seen the two men, along with a third person, use what she believed to be cocaine, said the documents.
The police went to Saint Paul’s Harbor, where the men’s boat was docked, and arrested Taa again, along with Bell. Bell denied hitting the victim and said the substance the woman observed him consuming was a caffeine pill.
Per the Alaska Public Safety Information Network, neither Taa nor Bell have any prior convictions in Alaska, and Bell had no known convictions out of state.
However, Taa has three prior felonies in Washington, including assault in the third degree, attempted arson in the first degree and assault in the second degree. He also has outstanding bench warrants from Washington State for failure to appear on assault-based matters.