Public Radio for the Central Kenai Peninsula
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support public radio — donate today!

Kenai borough employee brings gun to borough building, prompting arrest

The Borough administration and school district building in Soldotna.
Riley Board
The Borough administration and school district building in Soldotna.

Alaska State Troopers arrested a Kenai Peninsula Borough employee Wednesday afternoon after he entered the Borough Building in Soldotna with a concealed weapon. 

But the arrest of 35-year-old Lucas Thein was on assault charges related to a domestic violence incident reported earlier in the week, not the gun.

Thein has worked at the borough as a helpdesk technician for the last six months, according to his LinkedIn profile. In a press release, Soldotna Police Chief Gene Meek says borough administration reported an employee in the building with a concealed handgun and, quote, “Concern over recent activity involving Lucas’ behavior.” Meek says the gun was placed loosely in the pocket of Thein’s hoodie, with the outline visible to building employees.

The event launched a multi-agency response, including the Soldotna Police Department, Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska State Troopers. Officers determined Thein had not broken the law and no violation was committed, and completed their investigation.

But troopers arrested Thein on three charges of fourth-degree assault, related to a report from the previous weekend. 

According to charging documents, Thein’s long-term girlfriend reported to troopers that he had struck her on two occasions, causing painful injuries. She also reported a more recent incident in which he slapped her, then pushed one of their toddler-age children.

Thein had also been arrested in 2019 on multiple assault charges, but those charges were ultimately dismissed.

On Wednesday, according to court documents, troopers contacted Thein once he had been detained following the Borough Building incident and attempted to interview him about the domestic violence reports. He refused to talk, requested an attorney and was taken to Wildwood Correctional Complex in Kenai.

Borough officials said the event was related to an internal personnel issue and had no further comment on the situation and referred questions to law enforcement.

Thein made an initial court appearance on the charges Thursday morning and posted bail Friday. His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
Related Content