MEQUON — An arraignment date was set Wednesday, April 24 for Takorey Phillips, the man accused of nearly striking a Mequon police officer and leading police on a pursuit following a retail theft incident on Friday, April 12. Court documents revealed Phillips wrote an apology letter to the officer.
During a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, April 24 the court found probable cause -- and bound Phillips over for trial. An arraignment was scheduled for May 22.
The pursuit ended in a crash near I-43 and Good Hope — and prosecutors said there was a 19-month-old child in the vehicle -- Phillips' child. Prosecutors said there was an open child services case for that child.
Takorey Phillips, 27, faces the following charges, filed Monday, April 15:
- First degree recklessly endangering safety, repeater
- Second degree recklessly endangering safety, repeater
- Vehicle operator flee/elude officer, repeater
- Resisting or obstructing an officer, repeater
- Retail theft — intentionally taking less than $500, repeater
- Misdemeanor bail jumping, repeater
Phillips was mostly quiet in court during his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, but court documents showed he had something to say to Sergeant Ben Heinen -- the officer prosecutors said he drove his vehicle toward while trying to escape after the retail theft.
"I drew my firearm. I ordered him to stop. I yelled, 'Stop! Police!' The vehicle was then placed into drive, and then Mr. Phillips drove the vehicle at me," said Sgt. Heinen.
A supplementary report showed Phillips wrote a letter to Sgt. Heinen while in jail -- indicating he made a "dumb decision" and that he was focused on needing to care for and be with his children. The letter said he never meant to cause Sgt. Heinen any harm.
According to a criminal complaint, on Friday, April 12, Mequon police were dispatched to the Marshall’s store on Port Washington Road near Mequon Road, where they spoke with employees working as fraud investigators. One said there was a shoplifting incident on April 9, and Phillips was identified as the person involved. The employee said he was looking out for this individual on the afternoon of April 12. The other employee watched Phillips while he was in the store, and the complaint said Phillips, wearing exactly the same clothing, took about $200 worth of merchandise (mostly perfume, cologne and makeup) and left the store without paying for the items. The employees saw Phillips get into a vehicle — attempting to hit a Mequon police officer in the parking lot as he fled.
The sergeant who was nearly hit said he saw the suspect vehicle nearly hit the Mequon squad that was parked partially in front of the suspect vehicle in an attempt to prevent it from leaving. The sergeant said he yelled, “Stop! Police!” and approached the vehicle. The driver put the suspect vehicle in reverse and backed up quickly, striking the median curb. The sergeant then drew his firearm and ordered the driver to stop several times. The other officer was also shouting at the driver to stop. As the sergeant moved toward the vehicle to make contact with the driver, the complaint said the driver put the vehicle in drive and accelerated forward toward the sergeant, who had to back peddle to avoid being run over. The sergeant said he contacted the hood of the vehicle with his hand, and it continued moving and turning left before accelerating rapidly part him. The two officers got into their squads and initiated a pursuit, which continued on I-43 southbound, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.
The complaint said the suspect vehicle was weaving through traffic, cutting off other vehicles, and traveling in the emergency lane in Mequon. On I-43 at Good Hope Road, the driver lost control due to high speed and struck a light pole. After a short foot pursuit, Phillips was apprehended.
The complaint said a woman was in the rear passenger seat, and a child who will turn 2 in September was “inappropriately fastened in a booster seat designed for an older child.” A search of the vehicle revealed a marijuana pipe in the front passenger door.
According to the complaint, Phillips had a warrant through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Additionally, the complaint noted he was convicted of substantial battery in 2017, and placed on probation. He was charged with retail theft out of Waukesha County in January — with a $500 signature bond set in February.
Court records showed the same woman who was a passenger in the vehicle during the incident in Mequon was charged along with Phillips in the Waukesha County case — along with a third man.