Phillip Prokop tried to make one thing clear outside of Superior Court in Derby Wednesday.
“I was arrested for saving my daughter’s life,” he said repeatedly.
Prokop — the Shelton dad accused of paying a 17-year-old girl $21 to fight a girl he says was bullying his 13-year-old daughter to the point of making her suicidal — appeared in court briefly Wednesday, where his case was continued to Sept. 6.
Afterward, he again denied the police account of the incident that led to his May 26 arrest, saying the officers involved didn’t perform a proper investigation.
“They never took my side of the story,” he said. “They never did nothing.”
He also said police didn’t follow up on allegations of bullying he said he brought up before the incident that led to his arrest.
“They ignored it,” Prokop said. “They threw us to the wolves.”
The lawyer representing Prokop Wednesday, Frank MacPhail, said in court that his office is “awaiting some discovery from the state” in the case.
MacPhail, who was standing in Wednesday for Frank Riccio II, who has been representing Prokop in the case, declined to comment outside court.
But Prokop — free on $10,000 bond, on charges of inciting injury to a person, risk of injury to a child, and conspiracy to commit third-degree assault — gave an account of the incident Wednesday in which he fiercely disputed the allegations.
He went over a dog-eared copy of the police report in the case line-by-line, offering commentary — such as “That’s a lie,” “Completely false,” “Never happened” — throughout.
Police said last month that Prokop paid a 17-year-old girl $21 in front of the Sassafras Diner May 26 to assault a 13-year-old girl he believed was bullying his daughter.
Prokop says he did give a teenager money that night — but as partial payment to the 17-year-old’s boyfriend, who had done landscaping work at his house earlier.
He scorned the idea that he’d give another person money to assault someone else as absurd.
Rather, he said he went to the diner that night with two of his other children and one of their friends because he had heard the girls who had been bullying his daughter were there and he wanted to talk to them.
He said he thought the 17-year-old girl’s boyfriend could help mediate the dispute between his daughter and the girls because the man knew one of the supposed bullies’ brothers.
“I went there to talk,” he said. “It’s a human being’s instinct to protect.”
“I am a father. I’m going to protect my kid,” he went on. “I’m not going to hurt another kid, I’m just going to tell them please stop bullying my kid.”
Instead, he said a fight broke out between the alleged bullies and the 17-year-old girl — who he says he didn’t know would be there — that he wasn’t involved in until he tried to break it up.
Prokop also noted that the 17-year-old girl initially told police he wasn’t involved at all but then, when at the police station being booked for breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor, told officers she hadn’t been “completely truthful” about how the fight started, and implicated him.
And he said he could take an easier route to resolve his criminal case — like applying for accelerated rehabilitation, which could see the charges against him dropped after a period of unsupervised probation — but would instead fight to clear his name.
“I didn’t do a damn thing wrong,” he said.