Man charged with assault for allegedly swerving toward officer during pursuit

A man who allegedly swerved the car he was driving toward a Tacoma officer trying to stop the man Saturday may face life in prison under the state’s three-strikes law.

Jamil Al Kitabalwali Mutazz, 52, pleaded not guilty Monday in Pierce County Superior Court to second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, trying to elude a police vehicle and resisting arrest.

Court records give this account:

A Tacoma officer learned Saturday morning of a reported stolen vehicle being pursued by other police nearby and prepared to use spike strips to stop the car, a 2015 Lexus, near South Yakima Avenue and South 17th Street.

Mutazz was driving the Lexus and swerved toward the officer as he approached the spike strips, causing the officer to trip and fall on his back as he dodged the vehicle.

One tire of the Lexus hit the strip, and pursuing law enforcement officers took Mutazz into custody. He was booked into jail around 10 a.m.

Superior Court records don’t appear to list any previous convictions locally for Mutazz, but charging papers state he may get a third strike if found guilty in connection to the Saturday pursuit.

The documents do not list his other strikes.

Washington state’s “three strikes you’re out” law qualifies offenders for life in prison without parole if they have three strikes on their records.

Court records do not list an attorney for Mutazz. Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $500,000.

Jail records showed he was incarcerated in the Pierce County Jail on Monday night.