Arrow-right Camera


Banished Tlingit Teen Has Appendicitis 18-Year-Old Being Treated In Sitka Hospital

Simon Roberts, one of the two Tlingit teenagers banished by his tribe for a robbery in Washington state, has been airlifted from a remote Southeast island and taken to a Sitka hospital suffering from appendicitis, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Roberts, 18, was picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter dispatched late Monday after he activated an emergency locator beacon around 6 p.m., Coast Guard spokesman Edward Kander said.

Kander said the teenager was found at about 8:45 p.m. near Port Beauclerc, a rugged inlet on Kuiu Island about 75 miles southeast of Sitka.

He had a campfire going, but it was unclear whether he was living at the site, which is in the Tongass National Forest, Kander said.

The helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer, who examined Roberts after he complained of stomach pains.

Based on that examination, it was determined that the teenager should be evacuated, Kander said.

Roberts arrived at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital at about 9:45 p.m. There he was diagnosed with appendicitis, Kander said.

Hospital spokesman Tom Hartrich said Tuesday that Roberts was in stable condition, but he wouldn’t say if he had undergone surgery.

In September, Roberts and Adrian Guthrie, also 18, were sentenced by a Klawock tribal court to live a year to 18 months alone in the Southeast Alaska wilderness as an alternative to regular criminal sentencing by Washington state judge James Allendoerfer.

The pair pleaded guilty last May to robbing a Everett pizza deliveryman and brutally beating him with a baseball bat.

The man suffered permanent eye and ear injuries in the attack.

Prosecutors in Washington have appealed Allendoerfer’s decision to allow the alternative sentencing.

Roberts’ medical emergency is the teenagers’ second requiring a hospital visit.

In December Guthrie had his wisdom teeth removed at a hospital in Ketchikan.

Click here to comment on this story »