By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Kevin L. Perry turned to a woman behind him in municipal court and mouthed: "I'm gonna be in jail."
His prediction Wednesday was unfounded -- even though he failed to report to the Mahoning County Jail on Feb. 2 to serve five days for contempt of court.
If Patrolmen Doug Pesa and Assad Chaibi hadn't heard loud and vulgar music blaring from Perry's Cadillac, his old cases -- including the jail sentence -- may have continued to be overlooked.
Perry, 35, of East Florida and St. Louis avenues, was arrested Tuesday at the Florida house on charges of obstructing official business, disorderly conduct and loud music from his car in the driveway. The officers said in their report that Perry used racial slurs and obscenities when they tried to explain to him that loud music from vehicles generates numerous complaints throughout the city.
Perry posted bond Tuesday evening at the jail and appeared Wednesday in municipal court for arraignment.
Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly told Perry that records show he has two prior loud music convictions. He disputed that, saying he had only one, then agreed he has two.
She pointed out that third and subsequent loud music convictions mean up to 60 days in jail, mandatory $600 fine and mandatory forfeiture of the sound equipment.
The judge advised Perry that the assignment office would set new court dates for his old and new cases. The office set three hearings, one in June and two in July.
A check of court and jail records reveals the following:
UIn mid-January, Municipal Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. found Perry in contempt of court and ordered him to pay $650 in fines or do community service on convictions of driving without a valid license and two loud music offenses. If Perry didn't satisfy the judge's order, he was to report to the jail on Feb. 2 to serve five days. Perry didn't pay the fines, didn't do the community service and didn't report to the jail.
UPerry was taken to the jail on Feb. 2, but that was from an unrelated arrest by city police on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and driving under suspension. He posted bond and was released after his arraignment Feb. 4. The CCW charge was bound over to a county grand jury, which indicted him. His trial in common pleas court is July 24.
UOn Feb. 6, Perry then reported to CCA on Market Street to begin the community service he was supposed to do by Feb. 1. Marla Moore at CCA said that, through April 25, Perry had completed 251/2 hours.
Moore said Wednesday that she will notify the court that Perry has not been back since April 25.
Richard J. Billak, CCA chief executive officer, said Perry's file shows authorization by fax from Karen Leonard at the municipal court probation department. Billak said the authorization instructs Perry to do 103 community service hours by March 15, which he has failed to do.
Leonard said she would check her files to see what happened.
Judge Douglas was not available Wednesday afternoon.
Clerk of Court Sarah Brown-Clark said that if Judge Douglas had held show-cause hearing Feb. 1, he would have known Perry had not paid his fines or done his community service, and the judge could have issued a jail commitment order. Brown-Clark said her office cannot deal with the three options outlined in the judge's current "pay, do community service or go to jail" order.
"It gets more complicated the more we talk about it," Brown-Clark said. "The best person to track the terms and conditions is the person who gives the terms and conditions."
Dan Panigall, head of the city probation department, said the commitment order -- sent by the clerk of court office -- should have kicked in when his office did not inform the clerk's office that Perry's fines had been resolved.