Editor’s note: This story references suicide. If you or a loved one is in crisis, resources are available here.

A King County judge has refused to grant a new civil trial to a woman who was left quadriplegic after a 2006 crash that she claimed was the result of an illegal Seattle police pursuit.

The involved officer left the Seattle Police Department not long afterward and killed himself in 2017 after telling other officers and friends that he’d buckled under pressure from the city’s attorneys to change his testimony and “betrayed the badge and oath I took.”

Attorneys for Channary Hor (pronounced HAR) had asked King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott to vacate a 2013 jury verdict in favor of SPD and the city and grant Hor a new trial, claiming Officer Arron Grant’s admissions to his fellow officers and supervisors at the Lakewood Police Department, where he went to work after leaving SPD, could have changed the outcome of the case.

But Scott ruled Friday that other evidence presented during the 2013 trial demonstrated Grant’s testimony didn’t appear false or dishonest. The officer, a “deeply troubled” man severely traumatized by the incident, was confused and guilt-ridden but likely not a liar, Scott said in his 28-page ruling.

While Grant had told several officers that he had pursued the car — in clear violation of the law and SPD’s pursuit policy at the time — Scott said Grant’s confessions were vague and inconsistent with his other statements and the evidence presented at trial.


“Hor’s grievous injury as a result of the … incident was tragic,” the judge wrote. “Grant’s suicide, eleven years after the incident, and four years after the Hor trial, was also tragic. The evidence shows that Grant was traumatized by the horrific scene of the collision and the gruesome injuries Hor suffered. It is likely that Grant’s testimony at the trial retraumatized him, and that trauma, and likely other demons, haunted Grant to his death.”

Hor, now 32, uses a motorized wheelchair and has partial use of her hands. She sat quietly through the hearing and declined to comment afterward.

Her attorney, Darrell Cochran, said he will appeal the judge’s decision — the fourth time the case has been considered or reviewed by the higher courts. Friday’s hearing was the result of an order by the Court of Appeals for the trial judge to consider statements from other officers Grant had confided in before taking his own life.

How to find help

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or have concerns about someone else who may be, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988; you will be routed to a local crisis center where professionals can talk you through a risk assessment and provide resources in your community. More info: suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Or reach out to Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling. More info: crisistextline.org.

The incident occurred the night of May 18, 2006, when Hor — just 16 at the time — and a young man she had just met, Omar Tamman, were sitting in Tamman’s Cadillac at Seward Park after closing.

A neighbor called police, and another officer arrived and approached the vehicle on foot, rapping on the window with his flashlight. According to Hor and other testimony, Tamman panicked and peeled out of the parking lot just as Grant was pulling in.


According to Hor, Grant pursued the car with his lights and siren along Seward Park Avenue. A minute later, the Cadillac slammed into a rock abutment wall at nearly 90 mph. Tamman ran from the car, leaving Hor trapped in the vehicle with multiple fractures and a broken back.

The jury in the 2013 trial found Tamman liable and ordered him to pay Hor $17.4 million. He had no insurance and no resources, according to court documents, and Hor could not collect.

The jury also ruled in the city’s favor, rejecting Hor’s claim of negligent pursuit after Grant testified that he turned off his emergency lights as he exited the park. He would later tell other officers and his supervisors that he was pressured to give that testimony — and that he was unsure whether he actually turned off his emergency equipment.

The law and SPD policy forbade pursuits except in instances involving serious felonies or dangerous people who posed a threat to the public, not for minor curfew violations.

At trial, Hor said the officer was just yards behind the Cadillac when it crashed — a timeline the city’s attorney said didn’t correspond with radio dispatches, other forensic evidence or experts’ testimony.

Grant wrote a suicide note to his wife and two children in 2017, saying he could no longer live with the decision he had made four years before — a date that corresponded with his testimony. Hor and her attorneys learned of Grant’s death and torment in a (Tacoma) News Tribune article that quoted other officers, including then-Lakewood police Chief Mike Zaro, about how Grant had brooded over his testimony.


Cochran, Hor’s attorney, said Friday that a new jury should have a chance to learn of Grant’s misgivings, arguing that the officer “was tormented by not telling the truth about this trial.”

He said Grant’s testimony carried particular weight as a police officer testifying at a time before the courts recognized “implicit bias and the public clamored for police reforms.”

Brenda Bannon, the attorney representing the city of Seattle, argued that the other evidence presented during the two-week trial buttressed the city’s case against negligence. Tammar had roared away from the park so fast that he had lost sight of the police car before losing control, Bannon claimed.

Grant, she said, was traumatized by the crash and filled with self-doubt.

“But self-doubt doesn’t mean perjury,” she said.

The crash occurred just 50 seconds after Tammar drove out of the park — “the blink of an eye,” Bannon said. That wasn’t enough time, she said, for Grant or the other officer to engage in a “hot pursuit.”