The Homer Police Station as seen Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Man charged with attempted murder, assault and resisting arrest

Homer man, 53, beat and strangled woman over two hours, police allege.

Homer Police last Friday arrested and charged a Homer man for attempted murder in the beating of a woman that took place over two hours.

Clifton T. Holmquist, 53, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on April 11 on felony charges of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping with injury, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and two counts of third-degree assault. He also faces two counts of fourth-degree assault, resisting arrest, fifth-degree criminal mischief and violating conditions of release. All the charges are domestic violence related.

“It’s definitely one of the more serious cases of domestic violence we’ve seen in quite a while,” Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said on Tuesday.

In charging documents, Homer Police Sgt. Sean Perry alleged that Holmquist beat a woman over two hours at his Kachemak Drive home. The woman told police she had been punched 17 times and been strangled. The woman told police the assault started after an argument when Holmquist head-butted her and then sat on her chest with his legs clamping her head, according to the complaint. During the assault she pretended to be unconscious in hopes the attack would stop, she told police.

At one point, the woman claimed, Holmquist said, “I don’t trust you. I know you’re calling the cops so now you’re going to die.”

Twice the woman tried to get away, but each time Holmquist dragged her back into the house or into his car when she tried to get away when they were outside, according to the complaint. The attack ended when Holmquist took her to a motorhome parked at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit and left her with another person, she told police.

Police response to the incident started about 10 p.m. April 9 when Officer Tyler Jeffres saw a car with two people pull out of a driveway on Kachemak Drive. The car quickly backed into the driveway, raising Jeffres’ suspicions, Robl said. Jeffres followed the car onto the Homer Spit Road and saw it head toward Mariner Park. The car stopped near a motorhome and then left the campground.

Jeffres stopped the car and contacted Holmquist, who said he had dropped off the woman at the motorhome with another man he named. Police knew the second man from a previous criminal case.

At 10:11 p.m., police received a 911 call from the complainant calling from the motorhome on the Spit. The woman told police Holmquist had beaten her. Sgt. Perry responded to the motorhome with Officer Charles Lee. Perry wrote that the woman had bruising, swelling and other injuries. Robl said the woman was taken to South Peninsula Hospital for treatment of her injuries and was later released. The woman told police she had no safe place to go other than the motorhome.

Homer has a domestic violence shelter, South Peninsula Haven House, that provides shelter and counseling to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. People in need of shelter can call the Haven House 24-hour crisis line at 800-478-7712 or 907-235-8943.

Haven House Executive Director Ronnie Leach said Haven House is following Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 safety guidelines, including testing and quarantining of new clients while awaiting testing results.

“We’re taking ever precaution to keep people safe,” she said.

Leach said Haven House has been open since the pandemic started.

After interviewing the woman, police went to the Kachemak Drive home and contacted Holmquist, who they said appeared intoxicated. Police wrote in the complaint that he initially denied there had been an altercation, but then said there had been a fight and he defended himself. Police wrote Holmquist did not appear to have any recent injuries. Lee and Perry then arrested Holmquist.

While taking Holmquist to the police cruiser, Perry wrote that Holmquist tried to yank his arms away as the officers held him. They then took him to the ground and put him in handcuffs.

While being taken to the Homer Jail, Perry wrote that Holmquist became agitated and aggressive. He bashed his head on the divider until his forehead split.

“We’ve dealt with him before,” Robl said of Holmquist. “He flipped a switch this time. He was pretty violently and aggressively resisting arrest.”

Police took Holmquist to the hospital where he was treated and released. Perry wrote that Holmquist continued to have violent outbursts and threatened the officers.

Holmquist was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai where he remains in custody, Robl said. His next court hearing is April 21 if he remains in custody.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

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