Racial Outburst Disrupts End Of Celebration Parade

Juneau police are asking for help identifying a man in connection with a racist incident during Saturday morning’s Celebration parade through downtown.

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Police say a white male confronted an Alaska Native veteran, who was part of a group of flag bearers that led the parade on Willoughby Avenue near Centennial Hall.

The unidentified man reportedly yelled racial slurs, tried to spit on the American flag, then grabbed it and tried to run off. Bystanders wrestled the flag away from the man before he fled toward Whittier Street, shoving people as he ran.

Juneau Police Lt. Kris Sell says a half-dozen people were involved in the incident that lasted only a few seconds.

“It was shocking for the people involved for somebody to just have this socially unacceptable outburst that became physical,” Sell said.  “I think most of us go through life not really expecting to see that. People don’t normally act that way within the view of the general public.”

No one was hurt during the incident.

Officers in a vehicle and on bicycles – including Lt. Sell — searched the area for the man.

Many people were taking pictures of the parade. Now police are asking the public if they have photos or video of the incident. Crime Line is offering a cash reward for  images or information that leads to the man’s identification.

The man was reported to be wearing a light toned multi-colored knit cap under the hood of a dark, possibly blue, jacket.

People with information should go to the Crime Line website, or call Juneau Police at 586-0600.