A Youngstown man’s in custody after taking off during a traffic stop in Campbell on Wednesday. But it’s not the chase that makes this story so interesting — it’s who caught the suspect.
Though the chase itself was dramatic — it lasted 20 minutes before the suspect ditched his car and took off into the woods — how the man was caught is more surprising.
Campbell Mayor Nick Phillips said he “just happened to be at the right place at the right time.” He said he got lucky finding the chase suspect but it wasn’t without trying.
It all started when a Campbell police officer tried to pull over a car for speeding. The suspect behind the wheel was 24-year-old Mykel Phipps.
According to police reports, he led the officer on a chase that lasted nearly 20 minutes.
“He almost struck my vehicle, forced me off the road,” the officer could be heard saying over police radio.
The car chase ended at the dead end on Kendall Road. The cruiser crashed into a rock and Phipps took off.
Neighbors said it was a scary scene on a street that’s normally calm.
“I locked all my doors and everything afterwards because I seen them chasing him through the yards,” Kathy Cuthbertson said.
Officers started running after Phipps. That’s when Mayor Phillips came in.
The mayor heard about the chase over the police radio in his car. He saw the suspect in Struthers and picked him up for police to arrest.
“We spotted a subject walking down the road, fitting that description,” Phillips said. “I rolled down the window and I said, ‘Are you so-and-so?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’ and I said, ‘Get in the car.'”
Phillips said he has full confidence in his officers but as a retired police officer himself, it’s only natural for him to help out when he can.
“I might be retired but I’ll probably bleed blue ’til the day I die.”
It seems Campbell police appreciate that.
“I told you the mayor was a good policeman,” an officer said over police radio.
Phipps is facing several charges, including fleeing and felonious assault. He’s in the Mahoning County Jail with no bond.