Men accused of leading Troopers on a high speed chase plead not guilty

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Two people allegedly involved in a police chase from Healy to Nenana in January pled not guilty Wednesday. Leonty Fratis and Collins Avessuk, from Anchorage, were arrested January 19 after a high speed chase that started in Healy.

According to charging documents, an Alaska State Trooper attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling 80 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. As the trooper approached the vehicle Fratis, who was driving, sped off. The trooper noticed that the vehicle was reported stolen from Anchorage and started chasing the vehicle. The vehicle continued toward Nenana, at times traveling in excess 120 mph and passing multiple semi-trucks on curves. The trooper lost the vehicle when it turned into Nenana but soon found it in a driveway.

There were six people near the vehicle. Three were arrested and taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center. Fratis faces many charges including vehicle theft and kidnapping. A passenger said she begged Fratis to stop and let her out but he refused. Avessuk is charged with driving while under the influence.