Suspect Arrested in WA Courthouse Attack
SEATTLE (AP) — Police in Washington state on Saturday arrested a 34-year-old man accused of stabbing a judge and shooting a sheriff’s deputy in a courthouse struggle, one day after he fled the small town of Montesano.
Law enforcement officers in neighboring Thurston County took Steven Daniel Kravetz into custody Saturday afternoon at his mother’s home in the state capital of Olympia, Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott said.
The gun taken from the deputy during Friday’s courthouse attack and other evidence were recovered, he said.
Scott identified Kravetz earlier in the day as the lone assailant in Friday’s attack that wounded Judge David Edwards and Deputy Polly Davin. Dozens of law enforcement officers had joined the manhunt for him.
Kravetz’s mother called police to turn her son in after authorities released a flier with her photo and her son’s photo Saturday, according to the Seattle Times.
Kravetz was the only one in the house at the time of the arrest and gave himself up voluntarily around 1:30 p.m., said Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa. No one was injured.
“Why he was at the courthouse yesterday remains a mystery,” Scott said, adding that his motive is unclear.
Scott said his deputies haven’t had contact with Kravetz since a 2005 domestic violence incident that was handled in Grays Harbor District Court. More recently, Kravetz made a number of public information records requests related to that incident, he added.
In 2008, Steven Kravetz was convicted in Lewis County of third degree assault and making false or misleading statements to a public servant. He served 102 days on the charges, the Daily World of Aberdeen reported.
In that incident, Centralia police Sgt. Stacy Denham told the Seattle Times that Kravetz was arrested after he refused to cooperate with police after being kicked out of a Centralia public library.
Scott said courthouse witnesses identified Kravetz as the man who was behaving strangely in the courthouse Friday.
Around lunchtime Friday, Deputy Davin responded to a report of a suspicious person at the courthouse and confronted a man. During a struggle, she was stabbed with either a small knife or scissors. The judge intervened, striking the assailant, who then stabbed him, authorities said.
Davin reached for her gun, but it was wrestled away by the man, who shot twice, striking her in the shoulder before fleeing, Scott said.
Both the judge and the sheriff’s deputy were treated and released from a hospital hours after the attack.
Kravetz fled the courthouse with the officer’s .45-caliber handgun after the attack and showed up about an hour or so later at the office of his former attorney and asked to the use the phone, Scott said.
The attorney had represented Kravetz a number of years ago and “didn’t know anything was up,” Scott said.
Investigators believe Kravetz called his mom, identified as Roberta Dougherty, at about 3 p.m. and that she apparently gave him a ride out of the area, Scott said.
“We don’t know what her knowledge or involvement is,” the undersheriff said Saturday morning.
– Copyright 2012 The Associated Press