On Tuesday, Colorado Springs Police handled two calls involving what are described as suicidal suspects, with one of them, Phinehas McNeal, allegedly delivering a kick to an officer's face in the process. Turns out, though, that McNeal was not exactly an unknown quantity, having been busted a few months back in a knife-wielding incident at the Little Caesars restaurant where he used to work.
At about 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, according to info from the CSPD, officers were dispatched to the parking lot of a Hobby Lobby, where a woman in a vehicle was thought to be suicidal — although she apparently wanted an assist. Cops concluded she hoped they would kill her. Instead, two officers managed to get behind her as she wielded a black handgun and were able to tase her before anything lethal happened. She hit her head on the pavement when she fell and was subsequently hospitalized.
Just over seven hours later, at 10:14 p.m., officers got another call about a potentially suicidal individual, this one a male later identified as McNeal. They arrived on the 200 block of Audobon Drive, where they were told McNeal had fled moments before wearing only a pair of pants. Shortly thereafter, they located him on the 3700 block of Airport Road. He didn't go willingly: The CSPD says he was physically and verbally aggressive. Yet officers managed to fit him with handcuffs and put him in the back of a police cruiser before calling for an ambulance.
When the ambulance arrived, however, McNeal reportedly didn't want to leave the police car — so much so that in the struggle that followed, he kicked an officer in the face. He still wound up being sent to the hospital, but after he was cleared there, he was shipped to jail after his arrest for second-degree assault on a peace officer.
This routine likely felt familiar, since McNeal had been arrested as recently as December 21. At 6:26 p.m., CSPD reps were told a man had been threatening people at an apartment complex on the 1200 block of South Chelton Road. Then, about an hour and a half later, similar reports started coming in from a Little Caesars restaurant where McNeal once worked. His return doesn't sound like much fun for those still employed there; he allegedly knocked over racks and pans and waved a knife at workers, who he threatened to kill if they didn't open the register for him.
Fortunately, he didn't make good on this pledge, leaving without any money — and after he was tracked down with assistance from a K9 unit, officers determined that he was responsible for both the apartment brouhaha and the trouble at Little Caesars. McNeal was arrested, and when he got to the Criminal Justice Center, he allegedly began to resist being placed in a holding cell — actions that added an obstructing a peace officer beef to counts of attempted aggravated robbery, felony menacing, misdemeanor menacing and criminal mischief.
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The CSPD is not releasing a mug shot of McNeal because of the report that he is suicidal. And presumably quite volatile as well.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Teen allegedly kicked, threatened, tried to duct tape his grandmother in hours-long incident."