Ballroom dance instructor charged, released, then rearrested on suspicion of burglarizing Lawrence cigar shop 3 times

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Phillip Michael Carney, pictured in January 2020

A Bonner Springs ballroom dance instructor was arrested in the early hours of Saturday on suspicion of burglary — the third such incident reported at the same Lawrence business.

He’s also accused of threatening and striking Lawrence police officers.

Phillip Michael Carney, 37, was initially arrested around 3 a.m. Thursday at 106 W. North Park St., according to the Douglas County Jail booking log. The address belongs to Cigar House Lawrence.

The charging document in his first case alleges that Carney threatened an officer with a marbled stone ashtray in a sock and that he attempted to burglarize the business by smashing a window, causing up to $1,000 in damage. It also alleges that he obstructed law enforcement attempting to execute a warrant.

Lawrence Police Department spokesman Patrick Compton told the Journal-World Saturday that Carney had raised the ashtray in a sock above his head when officers arrived at the scene. In that incident, Compton said Carney had a cut on his hand, which medics treated at the scene before Carney was transported to the jail.

Also Thursday, after his early morning arrest, the booking log indicates that Carney was served with a warrant for a reported burglary alleged to have occurred Nov. 11. In that incident, Compton said police officers responded to the same business after hearing glass breaking. They found the business with a broken window, but no suspect was located on the scene, Compton said.

Carney was also charged Thursday in connection with that incident, Douglas County District Court records indicate. The charging document in that case alleges that Carney entered the business without authority intending to commit theft. He is also charged with theft for allegedly stealing money and cigars valued between $1,500 and $25,000.

Carney was charged and released from the jail on $10,000 and $5,000 own-recognizance bonds on Thursday afternoon, the booking log shows, and his next court appearance was set for Thursday, Jan. 9.

However, early Saturday, Carney was arrested again at the same business, according to the booking log.

Compton said police were dispatched around 12:30 a.m. Saturday to the cigar shop, where they found two broken windows and Carney inside the business. Compton said officers at the scene found some merchandise stacked next to the cash register, and it appeared that Carney was trying to take an undisclosed amount of cash and merchandise.

When officers attempted to arrest Carney, Compton said, he struck one of them, but no one suffered any injuries as a result. Carney was also in possession of a knife, but it was not used against officers, Compton said.

As of Saturday afternoon, Carney was being held without bond on suspicion of burglary, battery on a law enforcement officer, criminal use of weapons, criminal trespassing, criminal damage to property and interference with law enforcement, according to the booking log. That case was pending review by prosecutors, according to the booking log.

Compton said he did not know whether Carney has any connection to the business or its owners, and representatives of the business did not immediately answer a phone message or email from the Journal-World Saturday morning.

Carney’s employment history in Johnson County District Court records indicates that he is a self-employed ballroom dance instructor.

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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