Man arrested in shooting tries, fails at jail break

An Anchor Point man arrested last week for a shooting incident faces a new charge after he allegedly tried to escape from the Homer Jail two days later. A Kenai grand jury last week indicted Niko Mogar, 22, for attempted second-degree escape. It also indicted him and his co-defendant, Christopher Murphy, 24, also of Anchor Point, for second-degree weapons misconduct. 

Mogar also was indicted for tampering with physical evidence and Murphy for fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. All the indicted charges are felonies. Two counts of third-degree assault were reduced to fourth-degree assault for both men. Mogar also was charged with fourth- and fifth-degree criminal mischief related to the attempted jail escape incident.

According to a criminal complaint by Homer Police Officer Ryan Browning, on April 24, Browning said Mogar broke away while being escorted by Jail Officer Rick Pitta from visiting rooms to the jail cells. Mogar ran past offices and into the dispatch room. Pitta and dispatcher Paul Clark cornered Mogar, took him to the ground and then secured him to the booking room wall.

Browning said Mogar claimed he was not trying to escape and had wanted to see his father, who had come to the jail for visitation hours. Browning said Pitta told him Mogar had earlier knocked off a smoke alarm grate while flicking spit balls with a spoon at it.

Mogar and Murphy were arrested on April 22 after allegedly shooting in the direction of four men trying to take away a 1998 gold Toyota car at the Best Western Bidarka Inn. Murphy was involved in a civil dispute with the men over ownership of the car. 

After the alleged jail escape attempt, Mogar was later taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai.