Charges against UA coach settled confidentially

By Zach Thomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 20, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Phillip L. Johnson


Criminal trespassing charges against a UA assistant basketball coach were dismissed yesterday after a confidential agreement between the parties involved was reached.

Phillip L. Johnson, 38, was cited by airport police July 4 after he allegedly punched out the window of a woman's truck at Tucson International Airport. He pleaded innocent to a first degree criminal trespassing charge Aug. 8 in Pima County Justice Court.

"The matter has been resolved by way of a settlement," said Steven N. Bogard, attorney for the victim, 66-year-old Shirley E. Jones. He would not comment further on the case, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

Johnson would not comment yesterday, but told the Arizona Daily Wildcat in July that "it was an accident. It wasn't what it appears."

His attorney, Dan W. Montgomery, said much the same as Bogard.

"The charges were dismissed as a part of an agreement between Johnson and the other parties involved," Montgomery said, calling it a "confidential agreement."

Tucson International Airport Police initially sought charges of assault, threats and intimidation, criminal damage and false information to law enforcement. The charges were later reduced to first degree criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor.

Airport police reports indicate Johnson told officers he was walking toward the terminal when a Chevrolet suburban driven by Jones narrowly missed hitting him.

"She did not actually hit me, she just drove too close to me, which angered me, and I punched the truck she was driving," he told police the day of the incident.

Johnson then walked back to contact the driver and subsequently punched the driver's side window out of the truck, police reports stated.

Jones told police she was driving slowly, about 2 mph, when she heard Johnson yell, "Hey, you almost hit me," and then he slapped the truck.

She said he later approached and shattered the window.