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Arrest made after gas station standoff in Tok, troopers say

Troopers reopened the Alaska Highway
(File)
(File)(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 9:28 AM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 11:02 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska State Troopers arrested a man involved in a Monday morning standoff at the Chevron gas station in Tok and reopened the Alaska Highway, according to an AST spokesperson.

Norman Egolf, 53, of Tok, faces a felony charge after refusing to surrender his weapon in a standoff with troopers for more than four hours. Troopers managed to get Egolf to surrender without any shots fired through negotiations.

In a Monday morning dispatch, troopers said they closed part of the highway in Tok, near Moosehorn Road, “due to law enforcement activity in the area.”

Later that day, troopers published an update stating a disturbance was reported at 6 a.m. “involving a firearm” at the gas station. Troopers were dispatched to the area where they attempted to convince Egolf to surrender; however, he refused to comply with law enforcement’s demands, the dispatch said.

Stand off in Tok, AK! Corner of Alaska Highway and Tok Cut-off. Troopers have their guns out! Debbie and I drove right...

Posted by Jeff Gavazza on Monday, August 16, 2021

Jeff Gavazza, of Tok, said he was in the area during the standoff. Around 7:45 a.m., Gavazza was driving toward the Tok Cutoff and Alaska Highway intersection to take his wife to work when they noticed AST vehicles blocking the roadway in front of the Chevron gas station.

Gavazza assumed troopers were handling a traffic incident, so he decided to cut through the gas station parking lot to continue on their way. However, as they inched closer to the scene, Gavazza and his wife found themselves in the middle of the standoff.

As the couple drove their car into the parking lot, Gavazza saw someone in dark clothing and a ball cap on the phone. On the opposite side of them were troopers in yellow safety vests pointing weapons toward their direction.

Two state troopers and a wildlife trooper commanded them to leave. At one point, Gavazza said the suspect even waved the couple through to get out of the way.

After realizing the situation they were in, the couple sped off onto the highway again.

By 9 a.m., three hours into the standoff, the agency’s Interior Special Emergency Reaction Team was deployed to the scene, troopers said. Further negotiations with Egolf led to his arrest “without incident” at around 10:44 a.m., the agency reported.

The dispatch said Egolf is in the custody of the Fairbanks Correctional Center, and he faces a second-degree terroristic threatening charge.

Following Egolf’s arrest, troopers reopened the highway for traffic.

“The Alaska State Troopers would like to thank the Alaska Department of Transportation personnel in Tok for their assistance detouring traffic this morning,” the agency stated in the dispatch.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated with details from a witness in the area and additional details from Alaska State Troopers.

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