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Alaska man charged with assaulting mother, blaming bear

May 28, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man assaulted his 76-year-old mother, possibly with a brick, and blamed the attack on a bear, police said.

Karl Engelke, 50, was charged Saturday with felony assault and evidence tampering, Anchorage TV station KTVA reported. He remained jailed Monday in Anchorage. Online court records do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

An Anchorage police dispatcher received a 911 call Saturday and heard a woman say “help me quick” and “leave me alone,” according to court documents. The phone line then went dead.

Police said they went to the home in the foothills of the Chugach Mountains and spoke to Engelke, who appeared to have a blood splatter on him.

He said a bear had attacked his mother and that she likely had made the call.

Police called in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to help conduct a search for a bear, police spokesman RJ Thim said in an email response to questions Monday.

Police and wildlife officials set up a perimeter and began a search. Instead of a bear, searchers found Marlyss Engelke in a shed behind the home, Thim said.

“No bear was found because a bear didn’t attack the victim,” Thim said.

She was bleeding, missing teeth and throwing up blood. She had cuts to her head and face. Police found a broken cellphone nearby.

At the hospital, Marlyss Engelke was diagnosed with facial fractures, broken ribs and bruised lungs, and she needed surgery, court documents said.

She told police that her son may have become upset because she wanted him to move out of the house.

She said she believed Karl Engelke had hit her with a brick, assaulted her inside and outside the house and dragged her across the yard. Marlyss Engelke said that after she called 911, he hit the phone with the brick.

Investigators said Karl Engelke had cleaned up blood in the house and put clothing he had worn into a trash compactor. His bail was set at $25,000.

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This story has been corrected to show that the suspect’s last name was misspelled.

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Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.com

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