MANKATO, Minn. — A Valentine's Day pizza delivery resulted in the arrest of a 47-year-old Mankato man after employees at the pizza restaurant told police they were concerned about the welfare of a woman staying at the man's residence.
According to the Mankato Free Press, a man who took the Jake's Pizza order over the phone on Feb. 14 reported the woman sounded upset when she made the order. The woman said her husband would be upset if the order didn't arrive on time, the man said. The person who delivered the pizza also reported seeing cuts on the woman's stomach and that her face looked "roughed up."
Two police officers were sent to the mobile home to check on the woman after the employees reported their concerns. No one answered the door, but Jerry Patrick Phillips, the owner of the residence, arrived at the house while officers were there.
He told officers there was a woman staying at the mobile home with him. The woman, he said, had answered an advertisement he had placed on Craigslist offering a free place to stay in exchange for driving him to work and other places after he lost his license. Phillips said the woman had moved in with him in early February.
The officers eventually looked inside the mobile home and reported finding a woman with a small child in a bedroom. The woman seemed panicked, had bruising on her face and was holding her stomach, according to a criminal complaint filed in Blue Earth County District Court. Phillips was taken into custody at that point and questioned.
He denied doing anything to the woman and told an officer she had been acting odd since she moved in, the complaint said.
The woman told the officers there was a scoped rifle between the mattress and box spring of a bed in a different room in the mobile home. According to police, the woman said Phillips showed her the gun and said he would "blow her brains out" if she didn't do what he told her to do. She also said she agreed to have sex with Phillips so she and her child would have a place to say, the complaint said.
Phillips appeared in court last week for felony charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and making terroristic threats and gross misdemeanor domestic assault charges. He posted a bond for his release on Feb. 19 and is scheduled to make his next court appearance Thursday.
Dan Nienaber writes for the Mankato (Minn.) Free Press.