A man who pleaded guilty to pushing a Poland Township police officer was sentenced Wednesday to five years of probation with the first six months to be spent in the Mahoning County jail.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court gave the sentence to Rickey Krell, 57, and said he felt jail was deserved because he feels people should not assault police.
A pre-sentence investigation and prosecutors were recommending probation.
The charge stems from a domestic-disturbance call Dec. 5 at Krell’s Hamilton Avenue home. Assistant Prosecutor Michael Rich told the judge that officers were called by Krell’s daughter, with whom he was arguing. He was very belligerent, and when they tried to arrest him, he pushed one of the officers off of him when they were struggling on the ground, Rich said.
Krell pleaded guilty to felony charges of assault and obstructing official business and a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.
Krell’s daughter and the officer in the case both agreed with the pre-sentence recommendation that called for Krell to be placed on probation, Rich said.
Krell’s lawyer, David Gerchak, said his client pushed the officer because he has a bad back and was afraid of making his injury worse if he struggled with the officer.
Krell apologized for his actions.
“I wish none of this ever happened,” Krell said.
Judge Krichbaum said he could not understand why everyone was recommending Krell receive probation, and he was the only person who thought Krell deserved to go to prison. He said he has no tolerance for people who disrespect or assault police officers.
The fact that both victims in the case did not oppose probation swayed him from giving Krell a prison sentence, Judge Krichbaum said. Yet, he added that some time behind bars is necessary so people know that if they assault a police officer there will be severe consequences.
“This is so everybody knows if you assault a cop, you go to jail,” Judge Krichbaum said. “You’re lucky you’re not going to prison.”