Homer woman flees courthouse after her arraignment hearing for fraudulent purchases

A woman from Homer attempted to evade authorities and run away from the Homer Courthouse after being charged with committing fraud on Nov. 2, 2018.

Rheanna Ruth Tussey, 25, had been arraigned on Nov. 2, 2018 for allegedly purchasing $1,100 in materials from Spenard Builder’s Supply under the City of Homer’s account. According to the affidavit for the fraud case, on June 12, 2018, Tussey claimed to be her sister while purchasing the materials. Tussey’s sister was a former employee at the Port and Harbor for the City of Homer, so the purchase was charged to the City of Homer’s account. Tussey allegedly told the sales clerk that she was building a door for a trash bin for the port. The sales clerk did not believe Tussey was who she claimed to be, so she reported the incident to the Homer Police. The arresting officer contacted Tussey’s sister, who told the officer that Tussey was helping her father restore a boat.

After arriving at the location given by Tussey’s sister, the officer found Tussey standing next to an SUV that matched the vehicle seen in security footage at Spenard Builder’s Supply. Tussey attempted to resist arrest after being questioned about the alleged fraud. The officer then searched Tussey’s vehicle and found receipts from Spenard Builder’s Supply matching the purchases in question, as well as most of the materials. The rest of the materials were hidden in a small patch of alders nearby.

At the time, Tussey faced two counts of second-degree forgery, a class C felony, one count of second-degree theft, a class C felony, one count of fourth-degree theft, a class B misdemeanor, two counts of second-degree criminal impersonation, a class A misdemeanor, one count of resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor, and one count of violating conditions of release, a class B misdemeanor.

After her arraignment at the Homer Courthouse on Nov. 2, 2018, Tussey allegedly attempted to flee from the building.

According to a separate affidavit for this incident, Tussey made it as far as the front exit of the courthouse before being apprehended by the community jail officer on scene. Tussey once again resisted arrest, but the officer was able to subdue her. Tussey was then escorted back to the Homer Jail.

In addition to the previous charges, Tussey now faces one count of second-degree escape, a class B felony, one count of resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor, and one count of violating conditions of release, a class B misdemeanor. An omnibus hearing will take place on Feb. 4 at the Kenai Courthouse, where evidence and testimonies related to the charges will be presented.

Reach Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

• By BRIAN MAZUREK, Peninsula Clarion