Deputies: Palm Harbor man used metal leash to choke elderly woman walking her dog

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 75-year-old woman was attacked and choked with a metal leash on Thursday when she encountered a neighbor while on a walk with her dog.

It happened near the victim’s home in the 700 block of 1st Court in Palm Harbor.

Deputies were called to the scene and found a screaming 75-year-old woman being attacked by 20-year-old Emanuel Qosaj. They said the suspect had the victim pinned down and was battering and choking her with a metal dog leash.

Both the suspect and the victim were walking their dogs when the incident occurred, according to deputies.

Witnesses tried to intervene, but the suspect pushed them away.

“He had a goal in mind of killing her,” Ashley King told News Channel 8, who tried to stop the attack.  “…how he strangled her with the chain.  He was strangling her to the ground with a dog chain, and he turned around and then he beat his dog, and then he got back on her and started biting her face.”

Deputies were eventually able to gain control of the situation by shocking the suspect with a Taser and placing him in handcuffs.

The elderly victim sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Mease-Countryside Hospital for treatment.

We spoke with the victim’s daughter just feet away from where she was walking the dog.

“My mother was beaten to a bloody pulp,” Michelle said. “…he was punching her in the face and slamming her head into the concrete, ‘I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill you.’”

Qosaj was also taken to Mease-Countryside to be evaluated. During the transport, he reportedly spat on paramedics.

His brothers, Alfred Kole Qosaj and Genc Kole Qosaj were also arrested during the incident after deputies say Genc struggled with law enforcement, resulting in an injury.

Alfred was arrested and charged with resisting an officer without violence and Genc faces charges for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

News Channel 8 went to the brothers’ home and asked Alfred and Genc why their brother, Emanuel, would allegedly attack the woman.  Alfred told us, “We have no idea.  He’d been acting weird lately.”

“That never happened,” said Alfred, when asked about the attack on the deputy.  His brother, Genc, agreed.  “We never beat the deputy.”

All three brothers were sent to the Pinellas County Jail without incident, where the instigator, Emanuel, faces a litany charges for simple battery, battery on emergency medical care provider and one count of attempted felony murder.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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