Deputies arrest Palm Harbor man after he choked an elderly woman walking her dog

Good Samaritan: He was determined to kill her
Posted at 11:26 AM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 17:13:12-04

A Palm Harbor man was arrested after deputies say he choked an elderly woman with a metal dog leash.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday at 754 1st Ct.

When deputies arrived on scene, they heard screaming and found a 75-year-old woman being attacked by 20-year-old Emanuel Qosaj. They say he was on top of her, battering and choking her with a metal dog leash.

"I just hear screaming at the top of your lungs, bloody murder, I dropped everything and ran," Ashleigh King said. "This guy was on top of the elderly woman screaming, choking her to death, slamming her head in the cement over and over again so focused on trying to kill her."

King said she jumped on Qosaj's back and started to kick and punch him.

"He didn't even realize I was even on him," King said. "And, then he snapped again and went back to her and got back on top of her."

The victim's daughter told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska that if it wasn't for King trying to stop the attack when she did, her mother would not have survived.

The 75-year-old's daughter showed us a picture of her mother's face shortly after the attack. It was bloodied, bruised, and swollen from where she was hit multiple times in the face and slammed into the concrete.

Deputies say both Qosaj and the victim were walking their dogs when the incident happened.

King said it appeared Qosaj was on drugs. After he was tazed by law enforcement King said Qosaj began, "foaming at the mouth."

Deputies also say Qosaj even spat on emergency personnel.

Paramedics transported the woman to Mease-Countryside Hospital for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

During the investigation, deputies say Qosaj's brothers, Alfred and Genc both interfered.

Emanuel was arrested and charged with one count of Simple Battery, two counts of Battery on Emergency Medical Care Provider, and one count of Attempted Felony Murder. One brother was charged with Resisting an Officer Without Violence and the other was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest with Violence.

The victim's daughter said her mother will recover physically, but emotionally she is traumatized.

King said she is looking forward to when the victim is released from the hospital.

"It was like a nightmare that I never wanted to be a part of that's for sure," King said. "I can't wait til she gets home so I can walk up to her door and give her a massive hug. She just survived something she shouldn't have survived."

All three Qosaj brothers bonded out of jail. None would comment on their arrests.