Charges are now filed against 30-year-old Emanuel Kozma, who was fleeing King County Sheriff’s Deputies from White Center eight days ago when he crashed in Highland Park (WSB coverage here) and bolted, on the run till his arrest this past Monday night.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged him with second-degree assault and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.
Ahead – from the court documents, the story of why he was arrested the day before the chase/crash, what happened surrounding the chase/crash, and another incident – a shooting – that came to light along the way:
As we first reported the night of the chase and crash, Kozma had only been out of jail a few hours after spending a day behind bars following an arrest the day before, October 9th. Court documents say it all started with an incident in White Center that day, in which a man was reported to have pointed a gun at someone in the 11000 block of 16th SW. The man’s description led a deputy to stop Kozma – who he recognized from previous contact – in the 1200 block of SW 102nd, after a “short foot chase. He didn’t have a gun on him – he wasn’t allowed to have one, since he’s a convicted felon, and he pointed that out to the deputy – but he did have methamphetamine and a pipe in his pocket, so he was arrested and jailed for that.
Police later learned from an anonymous tip that not only had Kozma pointed a gun at someone, he allegedly had fired it, and a man’s thigh had been grazed, though that man didn’t contact police or seek medical care. The tipster suggested Kozma had hidden the gun at a junkyard his family owns on 15th SW and would likely come back for it after he got out of jail. Deputies searched for the gun there, but didn’t find anything.
The next day, detectives followed Kozma when he got out of jail; the charging papers say he and a woman went first to the 17th SW location where the shooting was reported to have happened, and then to the junkyard, jumping over the locked fence, going into a house, then going back over the fence and into a car owned by the woman. With Kozma at the wheel, that’s when detectives started trying to stop him, but he “drove in an extremely reckless manner, driving twice the speed limit and running multiple stop signs.” A gun described as “a large silver revolver” was thrown from the car while this happened, and “secured by a citizen.” Then the crash happened at 17th and Trenton in Highland Park; Kozma “fled on foot,” leaving the woman at the crash scene. She told deputies “I was trying to get out of the car. He wouldn’t stop.”
On October 12th – last Friday – deputies talked to the man whose thigh allegedly had been grazed. He showed them the injury and said Kozma was to blame, the court documents say. The two were “having issues surrounding a female.”
Then this past Monday, deputies learned Kozma was near the Denny’s SeaTac. They set up surveillance and arrested him as he was “leaving the parking lot.” The charging papers say he “made numerous admissions” later about the pursuit on the 10th, but he denied involvement in the shooting.
Prosecutors describe his criminal history as going back 15 years – half his life – including eight assault convictions, hit and run, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, hit and run, vehicle prowling, theft, and criminal trespass.
Kozma remains in jail in lieu of $300,000, a major change from when he was set free hours before that chase on the 10th, a “conditional release,” according to the jail register.