End of Watch: 05/11/1995
Agency: Seattle Police Department
County: King County
On Thursday, May 11, 1995 at about 0100 hours, a Washington State Patrol trooper conducted a traffic stop on a Chevrolet Corvette on the southbound off-ramp from Interstate 5 to N Northgate Way in Seattle. The Corvette was driven by Robert D. Knowles, a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history who was driving on a suspended driver’s license. As the trooper walked up to Knowles, he sped off continuing across N Northgate Way onto southbound Corliss Avenue N. Knowles then turned west onto N 107 ST as he attempted to elude capture as the trooper tried to catch up.
Seattle Police Officer Ken Davis had just completed his shift at North Precinct and was headed home in his personal car as he traveled north on Meridian Avenue N. When he drove through the intersection with N 107 ST, Knowles struck him broadside while traveling 60 MPH on the passenger side after blowing the stop sign. The Corvette continued westbound, broke off a utility pole and landed in bushes on the northwest corner of the intersection.
Knowles fled the scene of the crash on foot as the trooper approached. The trooper didn’t engage in a pursuit, but conducted an area check trying to locate the fleeing Corvette. A perimeter was set and after an approximately twenty minute track, an SPD K-9 located Knowles hiding under a staircase in a nearby apartment complex in the 10500 block of Midvale Avenue N. A search of Knowles uncovered approximately $500 worth of flake and rock cocaine. Later, a toxicology report showed that Knowles had been ingesting cocaine.
King County prosecutors tried Knowles on second degree murder charges. Knowles had killed Officer Davis while committing a felony of attempting to elude. Knowles was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to eighteen years in prison.
Officer Davis had served with the agency for 29 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons.