A Sitka man will spend four years in prison for felony drunk driving and auto theft.
32-year old Walter D. Peratrovich will also pay a $10,000 fine, and over $9,000 for the loss of the vehicle he stole.
According to court records, a patrol officer attempted to stop Peratrovich in the early morning of June 30, 2013, as he drove a 2003 Chevy pickup on Harbor Drive near the O’Connell Bridge.
Peratrovich drove the truck through the roundabout, then headed east on Sawmill Creek Road.
A second police officer joined the pursuit, which reached speeds over 65 miles per hour.
Peratrovich was apprehended after he struck a garbage can in the 2000 block of Sawmill Creek Road and drove off the road into a ditch containing large rocks and a tree stump.
Officers extracted Peratrovich from the truck and found him unable to stand on his own. The damaged truck — which had been smoking during the arrest — caught fire and subsequently burned.
This was Peratrovich’s third DUI, and second felony conviction. His driver’s license had been revoked from the previous charges. According to the police report, officers had interacted twice before with Peratrovich earlier in the evening: once in front of the Pioneer Bar, when he had a 26 oz. bottle of alcohol in the front pocket of his sweatshirt, and a second time on the Pioneer Home lawn, where he had been sleeping on a bench.
Superior Court Judge David George sentenced Peratrovich to five years in prison, with one year suspended, for each of two offenses: Vehicle Theft in the First Degree, and felony Driving Under the Influence. Peratrovich will serve both sentences concurrently.
Additionally, Peratrovich was ordered to serve 60 days for misdemeanor theft on a separate shoplifting charge.
The state has permanently revoked Peratrovich’s drivers license. He’ll also be unable to register a vehicle in the state.
The 2003 Chevy pickup truck was a total loss. The court determined its value to be $9,800. Peratrovich will forfeit his Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend every year he’s eligible, until restitution is fully paid to the vehicle’s owner.