State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Police Say Man Tried to Destroy Phone During Drug Investigation

by on June 05, 2017 4:08 PM

A State College man is facing felony and misdemeanor charges after police say he tried breaking his phone when a detective executed a search warrant as part of a drug investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, a State College Police detective on Friday obtained a search warrant pertaining to a drug investigation for an iPhone belonging to James M. McKenna, 33. McKenna agreed to meet the detective at Snappy's on University Drive on Friday afternoon.

Upon arrival, the detective told McKenna he had a search warrant for the phone and McKenna handed it over. The detective filled out a receipt that McKenna signed and told McKenna the phone could be returned to him on Tuesday.

As the detective handed McKenna a copy of the search warrant, McKenna "forcibly ripped the cell phone" out of the detective's hand, according to the complaint. McKenna allegedly twisted it with his hands, bent it as he tried to break it in half and smashed it on the asphalt ground.

Police said the phone was severely damaged. The phone was seized as evidence and McKenna was taken into custody.

He is charged with a third-degree felony count of robbery and misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking, tampering with evidence, obstructing the administration of law and disorderly conduct.

McKenna was arraigned on Friday before District Judge Carmine Prestia and bail was set at 10 percent of $10,000.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. 

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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