Steven Kozak is a 38-year-old man police say robbed an Ohio bank while carrying a toddler. According to the FBI and the Maumee Police Division, Kozak is accused of robbing the Directions Credit Union on July 21 just after 1 p.m.
On July 22, Maumee Police said in a statement that Kozak, 38, has been charged with aggravated robbery and booked into the Lucas County Jail. The statement, posted to the department’s Facebook page, “The child was unharmed and is now in the care of his mother. The case remains under investigation and additional charges, including Endangering Children, will be filed.”
Kozak remains in custody awaiting his first court appearance. The FBI’s Cleveland Division assisted in the investigation, but it was not immediately clear if federal prosecutors planned to file charges against Kozak along with the state charges brought by Lucas County authorities.
Here’s what you need to know about Steven Kozak:
1. Kozak Threatened to Use an Explosive Device While Holding a Child, Toledo Police Say
— Toledo Police (@ToledoPolice) July 22, 2020
The Toledo Police Department shared a photo on Twitter July 21 asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, saying the man now identified by police as Kozak, “is accused of robbing a bank by threatening to use an explosive device while holding the child.” Toledo Police were sharing the information on behalf of Maumee Police and the FBI.
According to a press release from the FBI, around 1:14 p.m. on July 21 “a white male carrying a small child entered the Directions Credit Union” on Reynolds Road in Maumee and “presented a note to the teller demanding cash and threatened the use of a bomb.” He took an undisclosed amount of money and left in a silver Cadillac, the release stated. It also indicated he was wearing a blue surgical mask during the robbery.
WTVG reported that Kozak was “taken into custody without incident” about 8 p.m. on July 21.
Lucas County Corrections Center documents indicate Kozak was arrested by the Maumee Police Division and booked on a charge of aggravated robbery on July 21.
Kozak was arraigned in Maumee Municipal Court by video hearing and appointed a public defender on July 22 and scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 30, Maumee Municipal Court records show. A charge of endangering children was also filed on July 23, according to court records.
2. Kozak Was Charged With Assault in 2017 & Has a History of Domestic Violence Accusations
Lucas County Court records of Kozak’s previous charges date back several years and include felonious assault. The records show a complaint was filed against Kozak in December 2017 stating he “knowingly caused” or “attempted to cause physical harm to another” by shoving his step-daughter in the head.
Maumee Municipal Court records show he was also charged earlier this year with petty theft and disorderly conduct. Records show that on July 9 Kozak pleaded no contest to the disorderly conduct charge after originally pleading not guilty, and the petty theft charge was dropped.
Kozak was also arrested in 2001 and charged with obstructing official business, theft and violation of a protective order, according to the Port Clinton News-Herald archives. In June 2001, he was charged with domestic violence, but the charge was later dismissed. He was later sentenced to 180 days in jail for violating a protective order, the newspaper archives show.
3. Maumee’s Police Chief Thanked the Public for Helping to ‘Remove a Dangerous Felon’ From the Streets
Maumee Police Chief David H. Tullis II issued a statement about Kozak’s arrest and the robbery on his department’s Facebook page:
Maumee Police, Detectives, Patrol Officers, Dispatchers and with assistance from the FBI worked aggressively, smartly and utilized good police techniques to identify, locate and arrest Steven Kozak in a timely manner. We are still gathering up information, and evidence for additional charges. MPD is very relieved that the child with Kozak was not harmed during the robbery and that the bank tellers of Directions Credit Union were not harmed. The child is now safe and in the care of his mother. Steven Kozak is in custody at the Lucas County Jail.
Tullis added, “I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our community and the citizens that came forward with valuable information that helped identify Steven Kozak as the alleged robber. Our Criminal Justice System needs the help from our community and citizen to be effective and efficient while performing our duties. So, thank you for helping remove a dangerous felon off our streets.”
4. Kozak Was Married in 2017 & His Son Was Born in 2018, but His Wife Filed for Divorce Later That Year
According to public records, the boy who police say Kozak was holding while robbing the bank, his son, was born in February 2018. Kozak and his wife were married in July 2017. Records also show that Kozak’s wife filed for divorce a month after she gave birth to their son. It was not immediately clear whether the divorce was finalized. Her Facebook profile page shows other children, but it was not immediately clear if she had those kids with Kozak. Court records show he was accused of domestic violence during the divorce.
A friend of Kozak’s wife wrote on the Maumee police department Facebook page, “He has an amazing family and children.. so sad what he’s done to them.” Other local residents shared comments about family issues. One wrote on the police Facebook page, “That man has put his family through so much! I’m glad he can never hurt them again!” Another wrote, “I only know very very little information about what he has put your entire family through but from what I do know, it’s horrendous. And I really hope that the two people who were affected so much by him are happy and thriving and living wonderful lives now.”
A family friend posted on Facebook that Kozak has issues with drugs. She wrote, “He’s actually in relapse. The mother is an amazing woman who tried to file for a divorce to get away from him. He’s not an upstanding citizen by any means. Their son will not grow up to be like his father (because) his mother will be raising him correctly.”
5. Kozak Has Held Various Jobs Including Security Officer, Supervisor, Kitchen Assistant & Personal Trainer
According to his Facebook profile, Kozak is a native of Genoa, Ohio, who graduated from Genoa Area High School before eventually moving to Maumee, where he was living at the time of his arrest.
Kozak’s LinkedIn profile says he is “Founder CEO at Toledo Food On the Move llc.” Previous jobs listed include security officer, supervisor and personal trainer. It indicates he attended Amarillo College in 2015.
In 2015, the then-33-year-old Kozak was profiled in a Michigan newspaper as he walked Route 66, the “Mother Road.” Kozak was chronicling his journey on Facebook. He told the Pontiac Daily Leader, “I’m pretty much broke, but the word-of-mouth has been awesome.”
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