Following a joy ride that reportedly lasted less than half an hour, an Alaska fisherman was arrested for stealing a King Salmon fire truck on Saturday, June 28. Dawson Porter, 22, who is from the Anchorage area, was reportedly in King Salmon to fish the Bristol Bay salmon season, which opened this week.

The Bristol Bay Borough Police Department reported that Porter used a piece of lumber to break a window of the fire station and made his way inside the building around 9 p.m. From there, they say, he started a fire truck and drove through the station’s closed bay doors.

Porter drove with the fire truck’s emergency lights flashing as he headed west toward Naknek, where he parked in front of the Fisherman’s Bar.

Two Bristol Bay officers arrested him outside the bar, according to Bristol Bay Police Chief John Rhyshek.

The break-in and joy ride caused roughly $10,000 worth of damage and put the $100,000 fire truck out of service for repairs.

A GoFundMe in support of Porter states that he was "wrongfully placed under arrest for burglary, vehicle theft, criminal mischief, and parole violations. He is currently held on a $10,000 bail at the Bristol Bay Detention Facility in King Salmon." 

At press time, the page did not show any donations.

In 2017, Porter and Tevin Cormier were arrested after stealing Dillingham's volunteer fire department pickup truck and drove to a gravel pit. Upon discovery, local law enforcement set up a perimeter and waited for the two to emerge from the bug- and bear-infested woods near the town’s fish bin. The two boys reportedly convinced a young woman they had met recently to pick them up.

The woman reportedly cooperated with the police, picked the boys up and was then stopped by police, who found Porter and Cormier in the trunk of the car.

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

Join the Conversation

Small Featured Spot