Slam dunks and solid defense may be seen the next time Drexel University basketball players Jamie Harris and Kevin Phillip hit the court, but it will be their lawyers making the plays.
Harris, the Dragons' starting point guard and last year's leading scorer, and Phillip, a backup forward, surrendered to police separately yesterday morning to face charges that they - along with a third Drexel student - robbed a classmate at gunpoint in her apartment Wednesday.
In a brief statement released yesterday afternoon, Drexel said that all three suspects would be placed on "interim suspension" pending the outcome of the case.
Harris, Phillip and a third student not on the basketball team, Devon Bond, all of whom are 21, allegedly plotted together to rob the 21-year-old victim while she was alone at her apartment on Lancaster Avenue near 36th Street around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Police believe that Bond, who knew the victim's male roommate, may have suggested that they target the apartment. Bond was caught on surveillance video and used his credit card at a nearby restaurant shortly before the robbery, police said.
Southwest Detectives' Lt. John Walker said that it's not yet clear why the men thought there was money in the apartment, but that the victim's male roommate may have those answers.
That man is currently in New Jersey and police have not yet been able to speak with him, Walker said.
The alleged robbery started when Bond rang the doorbell and the victim invited him into her apartment. Surveillance video shows him sticking a piece of paper between the door frame and the lock, preventing it from locking, Walker said.
Harris and Phillip then came in and allegedly brandished guns while Bond pretended to be a victim, police said. The men found no money and escaped with nothing but the woman's iPhone, police said.
Bond was arrested Thursday and arrest warrants on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and related crimes were issued Saturday for Harris and Phillip, both of whom are from New York City. Police learned from campus security and administrators that the two planned to turn themselves in yesterday.
Harris called police around 8 a.m. from his apartment in the University Crossings building, at 31st Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, where all three suspects lived, and police went to pick him up there, Walker said. Phillip surrendered at his attorney's office at 13th and Chestnut streets around 10:15 a.m., Walker said.
Why Harris, who attended Drexel on a full scholarship, according to his attorney, Robert Lynch, and Phillip allegedly participated in the botched robbery remains a mystery.
"That's the answer we never know," Walker said. "Something like this is beyond human comprehension."
While Phillip's attorney, Leon Aristotle Williams, declined to comment on the case, Harris' attorney defended his client.
"They are mere allegations and the sources of these allegations are corrupt and that will come out through evidence down the line," Lynch said, declining to elaborate.