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A Portage soup kitchen chef who formerly served in Pennsylvania law enforcement and claims to be a distant relative of a legendary gangster has been accused of threatening the life of a woman he planned to marry.

Philip P. Capone, 64, of Portage, contacted police Feb. 1 as he sought to file a burglary complaint at his East Burns Street home. The burglar he sought to report is a woman whom Capone is accused of abusing. The burglary accusation was determined to be unfounded. 

The domestic abuse and strangulation charges are related to incidents on Jan. 13 and 14 in which Capone allegedly punched, slapped and yelled at a woman, according to the criminal complaint. At one point, the complaint states Capone woke her up by holding a knife at her throat and then took her phone so she couldn’t call for help.

“If you don’t do what I want, I will kill you,” he told the woman, according to the complaint.

According to a criminal complaint in a separate case, Capone told police Feb. 1 that the woman had violated a no-contact order and spoken to him about collecting some belongings from his house. The belongings were never removed from the residence.

The Daily Register reported on Dec. 8, 2016, that Capone had served in law enforcement in Pennsylvania for 11 years until he was shot on duty. Capone had wanted to open an Italian restaurant in Portage but later decided against the restaurant plan in March 2017 due to health issues. Capone said he is a distant relative of legendary gangster Al Capone.

On Jan. 11, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Portage held what was intended to be the first weekly soup kitchen at the church’s Couper Hall. Capone, who said he had 27 years of culinary experience, was the chief cook for the soup kitchen, which was to be offered free from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Friday.

The parish’s vicar, the Rev. David Mowers, said the soup kitchens will continue, with another volunteer, the Rev. Mark Goldsworthy, taking the lead in preparing a different kind of soup every week.

Between 25 and 30 people have attended each week’s soup kitchen, which is expected to continue at least through the cold months.

Mowers said Capone’s future involvement with the soup kitchen will be discussed upon his release from jail.

Capone is charged with threats to injure or accuse of crime, intimidation of a victim and obstructing an officer.

He also faces charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, battery, disorderly conduct, strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment and intimidation of a victim or use of attempted force.

A bond hearing for Capone is scheduled for Wednesday.

If convicted of all charges in both cases, Capone faces up to 43 years in prison and $111,000 in fines.

Portage Daily Register reporter Lyn Jerde contributed to this report.


Portage Daily Register public safety reporter