City man sentenced for downtown disturbance

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A city man who police said has mental disabilities will spend the next 30 days in Mahoning County jail for a disturbance at a downtown building.

He also faces a potential aggravated-robbery charge concerning a downtown bank.

Michael Joseph Phillips, 48, listed as homeless, appeared Wednesday before Judge Elizabeth Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court on a trespassing charge.

Prosecutors said Phillips, earlier this week, went to 20 Federal Place on West Federal Street and refused to leave when asked by security.

Phillips is also said to have made reference to a gun.

Police did not find a gun on him.

Prosecutors said Phillips has several aliases including Darren or Joseph Phillips. Each name Phillips uses, prosecutors said, has criminal activity attached to it.

Judge Kobly found Phillips guilty of the trespassing charge and ordered him to serve 30 days in jail, but not before he informed the court he is known as Led Zeppelin and then started singing.

Phillips is looking at a potential aggravated-robbery charge for his actions at the downtown branch of the Chase Bank on Tuesday.

Prosecutors told Judge Kobly there is a strong likelihood those felony charges will be filed in a matter of days.

According to police, Phillips entered the bank on West Federal Street and told a teller he wanted his money. The bank has criminal-trespass warnings for past issues concerning Phillips and he was told to leave by a bank manager, police said.

Police reports say Phillips told the teller he was armed and was going to rob the bank.

Upon the manager walking away to call police, Phillips allegedly told the teller, “My gun is loaded, and I am just going to have to rob you then.”

Police arrived to find Phillips still standing near the teller window. He was not carrying a firearm.

Police reports say the bank is adamant about pursuing charges.

Phillips has past convictions in Mahoning County for aggravated burglary, complicity, receiving stolen property, and criminal mischief.

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