Police lights

Duncan Police arrested a man Tuesday night on charges of child neglect, public intoxication and disturbing the peace.

According to court records, Matthew Lee Phillips, 32, of Duncan, is charged with public intoxication and disturbing the peace, resisting an officer and four counts of child neglect. 

Affidavits obtained from the Stephens County Courthouse show a reporting party notified dispatch they received a knock on their front door around 10:43 p.m. Tuesday, March 24. The reporting party advised dispatch they didn’t know who the person was, but they were attempting entry, according to the report.

When police arrived on scene, they found Phillips, who was surrounded by four young children, all of whom were under the age of seven. The affidavit states “the children were shaking from the cold, wearing no socks or shoes, short sleeve shirts and no jackets” and Phillips had no shirt on. Police reported Phillips yelled at them that he thought he was at his friend’s house.

According to affidavits, Phillips told police he had “been drinking at home with the children and decided to walk to his friend’s house” but his “wife was at work.” Police noted in the report children later told them “they had walked up to five different houses and knocked on the front door” because Phillips instructed them to “see if it was his friend’s house.” The same affidavit also shows “Phillips was unsteady on his feed and slurring his speech” and police “detected the order of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.”

Police noted in the report explaining to Philips their concerns, including that “he was obviously intoxicated, lost at night, in the charge of four young children and that the children were underdressed for the cold during a COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reports show Phillips “continuously interrupted” police and then “screamed” at them and approached them in “a confrontational manner.” Police advised Phillips to stop and call his friend to come get the children, according to the affidavit.

“Phillips ended up walking all the way to me and began raising his hands aggressively, posturing like he was going to hit me, and continued to scream at me,” reads the police report. At that time, he was asked to put his hands behind his back and was told he was being arrested.

Reports show Phillips placed one hand behind his back before pulling away from the officer and yelling. A second officer began trying to help put Phillips in cuffs when he “put his hands in front of him and started bucking away” from law enforcement. Reports show “Phillips continued to pull away and fight with both of us in front of his small children.” When he was placed in cuffs, he was taken to Stephens County Jail, where he was reportedly “being belligerent and obstructive to the jail staff” and had to be restrained in a restraint chair.

Bond for Phillips was set at $60,000 March 25, which was posted the same day so Phillips was released. He’s due back in court for a preliminary hearing conference at 9 a.m. May 20, 2020.

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