Ariz. police pay man's restaurant tab, get homicide case

Two officers' decision to pay for a troubled man's restaurant tab led to his being arrested in his roommate's stabbing death


By Paul Davenport
Associated Press

PHOENIX — Phoenix police say two officers' decision to pay for a troubled man's restaurant tab led to his being arrested in his roommate's stabbing death.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the officers went to a restaurant last week where a man had said he had no money to pay for his meal.

Mykel Cantrel Cooper. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Image)
Mykel Cantrel Cooper. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Image)

The officers concluded the man had some type of mental health issue, so they paid for his meal and tip and took him to a behavioral health facility rather than take him to jail, Thompson said.

At the facility at short time later, the man told staff there he'd done something bad to his roommate, Thompson said.

Police were contacted and went to his apartment, where they found the body of 29-year-old Steven Horkovy, who apparently had been killed December 30, Thompson said.

The police spokesman said detectives then arrested 23-year-old Mykel Cantrel Cooper on suspicion of first-degree murder.

According to a police charging document, Cooper told a detective he'd stabbed Horkovy after kicking open the roommate's door and confronting him with a knife.

The police document said Cooper "provided some limited details about the stabbing," saying at one point he had blacked out during the assault and later claiming self-defense.

A large knife with blood on its blade was found in Cooper's bedroom during a search, the document said.

Cooper didn't have an attorney when he made an initial court appearance, and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Cooper remained jailed Friday in lieu of $1 million bond.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

Associated Press
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