ST. GEORGE – A St. George man was arrested Wednesday on felony counts of aggravated assault and kidnapping related to a domestic violence incident.
St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said the police initially responded to a call concerning a family fight Wednesday morning involving Shinobu Koja, 24, of St. George, and his future ex-wife. The fight ultimately involved several criminal offences and led to Koja’s arrest.
According to the probable cause statement filed today, Koja allegedly called his “future ex-wife” around 2 a.m. Wednesday and told her there was a family emergency at his home that required her attention. Once at the residence, she discovered Koja lied about the emergency. He demanded sex which the victim refused. She then attempted to leave and was physically restrained by Koja. According to the statement, she was able to break free and leave the residence after making enough noise to catch the attention of a witness at the home.
Later that morning Koja went to the parking lot of the residence where the victim currently resides and located her SUV. Having access to the vehicle, he went inside and hid in the rear of the SUV. The victim got into the vehicle and, after she left the residential complex, Koja climbed over the seat and put her in a chokehold. He also produced what the statement refers to as “a large kitchen knife” and put it to her throat while telling her to be quiet. Sometime during the incident he also took her cellular phone so she couldn’t call for help. At some point, though she sustained cuts to fingers on her left hand, she was able to flee the vehicle.
After the victim escaped, Koja took the SUV and the victim’s cellular phone home with him. According to the probable cause statement the phone and keys to the victim’s vehicle were found at Koja’s home.
Koja was arrested and booked into jail on Wednesday and made an initial appearance in Fifth District Court Thursday via video feed.
He is charged by the state with domestic violence-related first-degree felony aggravated robbery; first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping; third-degree felony aggravated assault; and various class B misdemeanors involving interfering with an emergency call, violence in the presence of a child, unlawful detention and simple assault.
Bail has been set at $100,000. Koja’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 28 at 2:30 p.m.
Ed. Note: Persons charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. As official charges have been brought against the individual in this case, his name and image have been included in this article.
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