An Omaha man making his first court appearance this morning in Council Bluffs may have set some kind of precedent for resisting arrest. Council Bluffs Police Detective Dean Sharp says they went to a local motel to track down a credit card that had been in a car reported stolen in an Omaha suburb. The stolen card had been used to rent the room but when they knocked on the door, the man said he had a weapon and they could hear a woman in the room. Police negotiators came and talked with 31-year-old Matt Phillips for a few hours but decided when he wouldn’t cooperate they’d go into the room. They found the man gone. He’d broken through a drywall ceiling after putting a mattress against a window so cops couldn’t see what he was up to, and escaped, for a time, from the room. But police had the motel surrounded and eventually their man came back out, into a conference room at the inn where he was arrested. The detective says there was “obviously” some drug use involved, and the man appeared “fairly high” and tried to assault some officers when they arrested him. During the standoff, Sharp says the man did damage to the room that the manager estimates at 10-thousand dollars, breaking all the fixtures and “punching holes in every square inch of wall.” Detective Sharp says Phillips has a record, and had charges pending against him in both Omaha and Council Bluffs. Sharp says they “weren’t dealing with Bonnie and Clyde,” just a man who’d taken a pretty big amount of an illegal substance and didn’t want to go back to jail.
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