Anchorage man accused of attempted murder in domestic violence strangling

A police car marked as Anchorage Police.
An Anchorage police vehicle (Valerie Lake/Alaska Public Media).

An Anchorage man faces a charge of attempted murder, after police say he strangled a woman and struck her last week as she tried to escape.

Court records show Derek Schraffenberger, 45, is also charged with 19 counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief in the domestic-violence case.

According to a charging document filed in the case, dispatchers received a report of the assault at a local apartment complex just after 1 p.m. on Jan. 14. During the call, dispatchers could allegedly hear Schraffenberger yell, “I’m going to kill you,” as witnesses reported the woman was being punched in the face.

The charges say responding officers met the bloodied woman as she was running down the apartment’s stairs, closely followed by Schraffenberger. Schraffenberger paused when the woman ran behind them, then was ordered to lie down and was handcuffed.

“Officers could smell a very strong odor of alcohol coming from Schraffenberger,” the charges say. “Once he was placed into an APD patrol vehicle, Schraffenberger kept saying he messed up and apologized to officers for ruining their day.”

When the woman spoke with police at a local hospital, she said she had received 12 staples to close head wounds she suffered during the assault, which began with her being strangled in the kitchen.

“She said she lost the ability to breathe immediately, she saw stars, and she got tunnel vision,” prosecutors wrote. “She was doing everything she could to fight him off, using her elbows, scratching, and trying to scream, but she could not make any sound. She said she remembered thinking this was it; she was going to die.”

Schraffenberger then struck her with a towel bar from a bathroom and pushed her down a flight of stairs as she saw police cars outside, the charges say.

Court records show Schraffenberger was set to make an initial court appearance in the case Monday afternoon. He is being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are looking for resources, you can call AWAIC’s 24-hour support line at (907) 272-0100.A full list of Alaska shelters and victim’s services providers can be found here.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Chris here.

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