Man gets five years for two attacks on cops

By joe gorman


A man who pleaded guilty to charges he assaulted two police officers in two separate incidents was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison.

Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court gave Eric Banks, 21, of Mistletoe Avenue, credit for 402 days served.

Banks pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree felony charge of assault in 2011, when he was accused of assaulting Youngstown police officer Carlos Rivera.

While he was out on bond in that case, he was accused of assaulting officer Malik Mostella during a robbery at a gas station, for which he also had an additional charge of attempted aggravated robbery, to which he also pleaded guilty.

Banks’ attorney, Walt Ritchie, said his client had mental-health and substance-abuse issues at the time of the crimes, and he was not on medication.

Ritchie said Banks was ruled incompetent to stand trial and was treated so his competency could be restored. He asked for a sentence of probation, saying his client has improved since he has begun taking medication.

“He tells me that [medication] keeps him from hearing voices inside his head,” Ritchie said.

Banks apologized.

“I’m sorry for my actions,” Banks said. “I hope I get another chance.” Judge Sweeney did not have much to say other than she thought the crimes warranted a prison sentence.

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