Man arraigned for burglary

YOUNGSTOWN – The man who police say was held at gunpoint Wednesday evening by an elderly woman after he broke her into her home was arraigned Friday in Municipal Court.

Alex Melton, 26, of Mount Vernon Road, was arraigned on one count of burglary before Judge Elizabeth Kobly from the Mahoning County Jail via video hookup.

He did not enter a plea to the charge, which is a felony. He has a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Melton snickered a bit when an assistant prosecutor told Kobly that Melton is charged with breaking into a Ferndale Avenue home about 8 p.m. Wednesday by bursting through a window and landing on a couch.

The homeowner, Phibbie Underwood, 72, held him at gunpoint with a .22-caliber revolver and fired a shot at him that missed before police arrived and took him into custody. Melton told police he was trying to get away from someone who was chasing him.

Police Chief Rod Foley said Thursday that Underwood put on a clinic on how a homeowner should defend themselves with a gun.

”She’s a brave lady,” Foley said. ”She did exactly what she’s supposed to do with a home defense firearm. Good for her.”

Underwood is not being charged.

Kobly gave Melton a $20,000 cash or surety bond. When she asked him if he needed a court-appointed attorney and Melton said he did, Kobly asked him his monthly income.

Melton said he makes about $3,000 a month as a tattoo artist but can’t make that while in jail. He also said he married with two children by his wife and three overall and that his wife is pregnant.

Kobly appointed counsel for him.