Seattle man charged for attacking Kent Police officer

The man reportedly had the officer in a headlock before he fought back

A 53-year-old Seattle man faces a third-degree assault charge for reportedly attacking a Kent Police officer who had responded to a physical domestic call.

King County prosecutors also charged Van Owen Winbush with felony harassment for threatening to kill another man during the same incident.

Two officers responded at about 4 p.m. Sept. 19 to the Country Glen Apartments in the 27400 block of 132nd Avenue SE on Kent’s East Hill, according to charging papers filed Sept. 22.

Each officer began to interview witnesses. As one officer talked to a man, Winbush walked up aggressively toward the witness and officer who told him to get back, but Winbush ignored the command, according to court documents.

The officer put his hand on Winbush’s chest to stop him from advancing toward the witness, who had told the officer that Winbush earlier had banged on the windows of his vehicle and threatened to kill him. Winbush slapped the officer’s hand away and reportedly became aggressive toward the officer and the witness.

The officer lowered his body and wrapped his arms around Winbush to take him to the ground to try to more easily control him. While doing this, the officer felt arms wrapped around his neck in a headlock fashion, according to charging papers.

The officer fell forward as Winbush maintained his grasp around his neck. Winbush then allegedly pulled the officer forward, face down, causing him to bounce the right side of his forehead off the asphalt.

With Winbush on top of his head, the officer retrieved his Taser and attempted to use it in stun mode, but the battery was dead. The officer then used his forearm to strike Winbush and threw two punches prior to feeling the tension in Winbush’s arms release and he managed to pull Winbush’s arms behind his back as another officer handcuffed him.

The officer who was attacked suffered a cut to his left hand, scratches to his left elbow and a cut above his right eyebrow which was bleeding and began to swell, according to court documents. The officer went to MultiCare Covington Medical Center for evaluation.

Paramedics transported Winbush to Valley Medical Center in Renton to be treated for a cut to his forehead.

Winbush told officers the people he knew in the apartment had asked him to help recover items reportedly taken by the girlfriend of the witness the officer had interviewed. He said he approached the vehicle the two were seated in so he could look for the items and an argument started.

Winbush said he didn’t intend to harm an officer as his anger was directed at the boyfriend of the woman who reportedly took items from the apartment.

As Winbush had approached the vehicle, another man reportedly walked up to the vehicle with an AK-47 assault rifle and threatened to shoot the boyfriend if he didn’t leave. The boyfriend then called 911.

Winbush has prior convictions for attempting to elude (1996), theft of a motor vehicle (1993), second-degree burglary (1986), second-degree robbery (1985), several other theft charges in the 1990s and a 1994 hit-and-run, according to court papers.

Winbush is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 6 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. As of Sept. 27, Winbush remained in the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle with bail set at $20,000.

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