A rather bizarre series of events has led to one man in serious condition in the Bronson Methodist Hospital in downtown Kalamazoo, while another man, a Greek immigrant from Ohio, is in the Branch County Jail for attempted murder that he claims was actually an accident.
According to police, 31-year-old Jonathan Losinski was spending his evening in the Strike Zone, a bar and bowling alley in Bronson, when employees began noticing a van that repeatedly entered and left the parking lot throughout the evening. They felt the driver’s actions were suspicious and so took note of his comings and goings.
Shortly before the bar closed down at 1 am, Losinski approached the van and asked the driver to leave the premises. The driver, Constantin Manea of Ohio, apparently brandished an 18-inch machete at him and said, “You can’t make me leave!”
At that point Losinski went back inside the bar and called the police to report Menea and his weapon. Afterwards, a friend of his who worked at the bar drove him to the next door parking lot of the Dollar General where his car was parked.
It was at that moment that the Bronson police arrived on the scene, and Manea drove his van into the parking lot of the Dollar General and headed toward Losinski, who attempted to get out of the way of the oncoming van. Responding officers saw Losinski being struck by the vehicle and then driven over.
Manea then drove away and was pulled over just a short distance away by responding officer Scott Bogard. Manea apparently then tried to exit his vehicle and when told to wait inside the van, attempted to flee the scene. He was chased by Officer Bogard for about a mile before pulling over and giving himself up.
He was arrested and charged with attempted murder, fleeing and eluding police, possession of a concealed weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, and drunk driving causing serious injuries. All five charges are felonies under Michigan law, with the attempted murder charge carrying a life sentence if convicted.
He has also been charged with having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, which is a misdemeanor, as the arresting officer found an open bottle of schnapps in Manea’s van. According to police records, at the time of his arrest, Manea’s BAC was .09, which is only .01 above Michigan’s legal limit of .08.
Losinski was transported to Bronson Methodist Hospital and listed as being in serious condition, with several broken bones and also internal injuries. The extend of his injuries has not been disclosed by police.
A court appointed attorney was assigned to Manea, who is a husband and father from East Cleveland, Ohio. At his arraignment, Manea told Branch County District Magistrate-Judge David Coyle, that the entire sequence of events had been unintentional. “I didn’t try to kill no one. It was an accident.” he said.
He explained that he had recently got a job as a courier transporting auto parts, and was in Branch County picking up a package for work. He says that he got lost and somehow ended up in Bronson by accident. “I got problems with the roads.” he told the judge.