Man bites cab driver, hits him with bolt cutters and flees into Peanut Farm

A 37-year-old Anchorage man was charged with assault after he bit a cab driver late Thursday and then attacked him with bolt cutters in a gas station parking lot, police said.

The driver called police about 11:30 p.m. to report the assault, said Anchorage police spokesman MJ Thim. The incident happened at the Chevron on the 5200 block of Old Seward Highway.

The driver said he had been bitten in the arm and struck in the face with bolt cutters, Thim said.

As officers were talking to the driver, employees from the Peanut Farm across the street called 911.

A man had just run into the restaurant with bolt cutters and was hiding in the restroom, Thim said.

“Officers put two and two together and said that’s our guy,” Thim said.

A team of officers and police dogs went over, he said. Employees pointed the officers in the direction of the restroom.

Then a man ran out of the restroom and through the restaurant, ignoring officers’ calls to stop, Thim said.

He ran into the restaurant kitchen, crashed into a wall and fell down, Thim said.

At that point officers handcuffed the man, identified as Justin Saunders. Police took Saunders to the hospital to check for head injuries from striking the wall, Thim said.

Saunders was belligerent toward police and hospital staff, at one point spitting in an officer’s face, Thim said.

Thim said Saunders was treated for minor injuries and taken to jail.

Thim didn’t immediately have information about what sparked the confrontation in the cab. But Saunders faces several assault charges, Thim said.

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