Symmian Phillips sentenced to 9 months in HOC for role in crash of stolen vehicle

Symmian Phillips

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee County judge sentenced 17-year-old Symmian Phillips on Friday, March 22 to nine months in the House of Correction for his role in the crash of a stolen vehicle. The incident  unfolded at the 128th Air Refueling Wing in October 2018.

Phillips faced a single charge of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent – passenger. On Friday, he pleaded guilty to the charge — and a judgment of conviction was entered into the record.

Phillips was charged along with Lucas Zynel, who was sentenced last month to four years in prison and four years of extended supervision.

Prosecutors said the vehicle in this case was stolen from a driveway in St. Francis.

Lucas Zynel

Surveillance video showed Zynel driving the vehicle outside the 128th Air Refueling Wing, where prosecutors said he met up with two others — Phillips and a 14-year-old boy who were in a separate stolen vehicle. The video showed them moving items from the second vehicle into the first, prosecutors said.

Other cameras captured Zynel exiting the parking lot and driving west on Grange Avenue toward the entrance to the 128th Air Refueling Wing. Prosecutors said Zynel did not stop at the security checkpoint. A military officer on duty began to pursue the vehicle.

In the middle of the pursuit, prosecutors said Zynel stopped the vehicle and swapped seats with the 14-year-old boy.

A shot was fired by a military officer when the 14-year-old made no effort to slow down and veered around an officer. At the last minute, one of the vehicle’s tires was hit. From there, the 14-year-old drove through a barricade, prosecutors said.

A military officer attempted to stop the vehicle by pinning it in front while another security officer pulled a military squad close behind it.  Prosecutors said the 14-year-old did not stop and tried to drive around the barricade. In the process, the stolen vehicle crashed into the officer’s squad car — causing damage. The 14-year-old struck another military squad on his way to try to exit the gate to the base.

Prosecutors said the 14-year-old then attempted to drive through the closed gate to the base, but was unsuccessful and got stuck. At that point, the three suspects were ordered out of the car at gunpoint.  All three were taken into custody.

The criminal complaint said squad video showed the 14-year-old and Phillips laughing and joking about the fact that they were on a military base and being shot at. Phillips said he saw military personnel in the parking lot when they were moving property from one stolen vehicle to the other. The two continued to laugh about the damage to the military security squad vehicles and both made comments indicating they knew the vehicle was stolen when they entered it. Both acknowledged hearing a voice over the base PA system during the pursuit that the base was in lockdown mode.

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