Reynoldsburg News

Two robbery suspects scheduled in court March 7

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A Columbus man and woman are scheduled to appear in Franklin County Municipal Court March 7 to answer charges in connection with the Feb. 22 robbery of a 22-year-old man at a Reynoldsburg hotel.

The Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, a multijurisdictional 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, on Feb. 25.

Dean was arraigned Feb. 26 in Municipal Court, where a judge set a $250,000 cash or surety bond and a $250,000 appearance bond. His arraignment was continued to March 7, according to court records.

Phalen also was arraigned Feb. 26 in Municipal Court, where a judge set a $100,000 cash or surety bond and a $100,000 appearance bond for her.

Phalen is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. March 7 in Municipal Court, according to court records.

The two were arrested at 9:40 a.m. at a home on Ridgebury Drive, just north of Renner Road and Interstate 70 on the West Side of 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.

Reynoldsburg Det. Ryan Kiser said 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.

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

"(Dean) had a badge on a chain, a radio, handcuffs and a stun gun," Wright said. "(Dean) took the victim's wallet and cell phone 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, who 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 but was not immediately arrested.

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

Further investigation 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.

Two other separate criminal cases were reopened against Dean, according to Municipal Court records.

He is scheduled for a jury trial March 12 in connection with charges of OVI and a registration violation Hilliard police levied against him in July 2013.

Dean also is scheduled to appear in court March 1 in connection with another OVI charge filed by Columbus police in February 2012.

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