Man sentenced to prison for threatening Boardman police officer

Local News
Giovanne York, arrested on multiple warrants after a reported robbery in Boardman.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The man sentenced today to 18 months in prison for threatening a Boardman police officer said he was “only kidding” and on several different drugs at the time.

Speaking via video from a holding cell at the Mahoning County jail, Giovanne York, 37, of Warren, told Judge John Durkin in Common Pleas Court that at the time he made the threat after he was arrested following a fight in April, he was, by his own words, “on heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.”

York also said he has “mental health issues” and his attorney, Walter Ritchie, said he had medical complications bought on by diabetes when asking for a sentence of time served.

But Judge Durkin said York’s substantial criminal history was the main reason why he thought he should be sentenced to prison on charges of intimidation and obstructing official business.

York pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 7. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors said they would not object to a request for judicial release, provided York does not get into any trouble while he in prison. He gets credit for 188 days served in jail while awaiting the outcome of his case.

York was arrested April 17 after Boardman police were called for a report of a robbery. Reports said when police were there they learned York had several warrants and he provided police with a fake name.

York complained of being “dope sick” but when he was taken to a hospital he tried to ran away but was stopped. Reports said he told police,  “Once these handcuffs come off, I’m going to put you in the f***ing hospital like the last cop” in reference to statements that he assaulted police officers in Farrell, Pa.

York apologized.

“There’s no excuse, but I’d like to say I’m sorry to the officers involved, the community and the court,” York said.

Judge Durkin said he understands people do not act the way they should when they are under the influence or have mental health problems, but he said that is no excuse for disobeying a police officer.

“When a police officer tells you to do something, you do it, and if that happened more, we’d have so many less issues,” Judge Durkin said.

York also has pending first and second degree felony cases in Pennsylvania and a pending charge in Trumbull County, his lawyer said.

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