Barricaded Evart man faces serious charges

An Evart man who barricaded himself inside his home with a weapon lead to a police standoff has been charged with numerous crimes, including assaulting a police officer and home invasion.

Caleb Scott Kozlowski, 23, was arraigned in Osceola County’s 77th District Court Monday with felony home invasion, breaking and entering, larceny and assaulting/resisting a police officer.

All the charges are allegedly related to the incident on December 26 that caused road closures and required the involvement of numerous police agencies before negotiators were able to persuade Kozlowski out of his home on Hemlock Street.

Evart Police Chief Kendra Backing confirmed that the incident began when police aided in a civil standby as Kozlowski’s wife came to the home to retrieve belongings. Backing said the couple was separating and the situation escalated later that day when the Kozlowski became upset and called his local pastor for help. Backing said while visiting the home, the pastor called 911 and reported that the man was in possession of a stolen gun.

During the 911 call, Backing said the dispatcher allegedly heard the pastor asked Kozlowski to “put the gun down” before the call was abruptly ended.

By mid-afternoon, the Evart Police, SWAT teams, Michigan State Police and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department were engaged in what Backing described as an “active barricaded gunman situation” with Kozlowski inside the home.

Several streets on the south end of Evart were closed and residents evacuated during the standoff, which stretched on for more than five hours before Kozlowski turned himself in.

Court records indicate that the felony assault against a police officer involves allegations   Kozlowski “did assault, wound, batter, resist or endanger” Evart Police Sergeant John Beam during the events of Dec. 26. Beam has now started to recover from his injuries.

The assault charge is punishable by up to two years in jail. The second-degree home invasion charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The felony breaking and entering charge is a 10-year felony while the larceny charge is punishable by up to four years in jail.

Kozlowski’s request for a personal recognizance bond was denied. Bond was set at $100,000.

Kozlowski remains lodged in the Osceola County Jail. He is scheduled for a preliminary exam on Jan. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

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