Crime

Man arrested in Olympia after allegedly trying to pull a woman out of her car

Olympia police arrested a 21-year-old Olympia man Wednesday after he allegedly tried to force a woman out of her car so he could steal the vehicle.

Willem M. Gmazel was arrested at about 1:15 p.m. after officers responded to reports of an assault and attempted robbery at the 200 block of Lilly Road. Gmazel was booked into the Thurston County Jail.

The suspect appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch on Thursday afternoon, and Gmazel cried throughout the hearing.

Office of Assigned Counsel attorney John Hansen, representing Gmazel at the hearing, recommended that his client be sent to Western State Hospital for a competency evaluation as quickly as possible.

“I believe that the court has enough information, and that there is substantial concern about his mental health,” Hansen said.

Hirsch said that based on court documents and Gmazel’s actions in court, she believed an evaluation would be appropriate.

She also found probable cause for three proposed charges: second-degree attempted robbery, second-degree assault, and third-degree assault.

The Olympia Police Department gave the following account of the incident:

Officers responded to the 200 block of Lilly Road after receiving reports of an attempted robbery. The victim said she had been talking on her phone in her car when a man approached, opened the door and demanded that she give him her car.

The woman removed her keys from the ignition and held them out of the man’s reach. The man grabbed the woman by her legs and tried to pull her out of the car. She kicked him and honked the horn.

Witnesses heard the commotion and came to help her. One witness called 911, while another tried to get the attacker away from the victim. Police arrived and arrested Gmazel.

Gmazel was arrested by Olympia police two days earlier after he allegedly entered a west Olympia Rite Aid and knocked over displays. He was taken to Behavior Health Resources (BHR) for a mandatory mental health hold.

Police said that just before the attacking on the woman on Lilly Road on Wednesday, Gmazel struck a BHR employee, scaled a fence and escaped.

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