Hilliard Northwest News

Couple arrested near Hilliard in connection with robbery at hotel

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A Columbus man and woman were arrested Feb. 25 just south of Hilliard in connection with a robbery Feb. 22 at a Reynoldsburg hotel.

The Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, a multijurisdiction organization under the purview of the U.S. Marshals Service, arrested Joseph S. Dean, 36, of Alexandria Court in east Columbus, and Marcie Phalen, 24, of Fair Avenue on the Near East Side.

Reynoldsburg police are part of the task force.

Dean and Phalen were arrested at 9:40 a.m. Feb. 25 at a home on Ridgebury Drive, just north of Renner Road and Interstate 70 in west Columbus.

Dean was arrested on felony charges of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer. Phalen was arrested on a felony charge of obstruction of justice, Reynoldsburg police said.

All the charges stem from an incident that occurred about 3:20 a.m. Feb. 22 in a hotel room at Days Inn, 2100 Brice Road, according to Reynoldsburg police.

A 22-year-old man responded to an advertisement on the website backpage.com and arranged to meet a female escort at the hotel room, said Reynoldsburg Det. Ryan Kiser.

Once the victim and Phalen were inside a room, Dean came out of hiding and identified himself as a police officer, Reynoldsburg Lt. Ron Wright said.

"(Dean) had a badge on a chain, a radio, handcuffs and a stun gun," Wright said. "(Dean) took the victim's wallet and cellphone then told him he would be charged later."

The victim became suspicious, and after Dean and Phalen left, he reported Dean's license plate number to Reynoldsburg police.

Reynoldsburg police located Dean's car about 5 a.m. Feb. 22 at his Alexandria Court residence, Kiser said.

"(Dean) walked outside and saw (police) and ran back inside," Kiser said.

Dean escaped through a basement window, Kiser said.

Phalen was questioned at the scene and was not immediately arrested.

Reynoldsburg police obtained a search warrant for Dean's Alexandria Court home and found the badge, handcuffs and other police equipment, Wright said.

Further investigations led police to discover that Dean and Phalen were at the Ridgebury Drive home where they were arrested Feb. 25.

The Ridgebury Drive residence belongs to an acquaintance of Dean, Kiser said.

Franklin County Municipal Court records indicate Dean has an open OVI case stemming from an arrest by Hilliard police in July 2013.

Hilliard police also arrested Dean for theft in October 2012. Columbus police arrested Dean in January 2014 for a theft on Bethel Road in northwest Columbus.

Phalen has one prior arrest for theft, according to Franklin County records.

Dean was scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. Feb. 26 in Municipal Court. Records did not indicate an arraignmenthad been scheduled for Phalen as of 3 p.m. Feb. 25.

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