The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 12, 2013

Two more are charged in Conneaut brawl

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Two more men have been charged in connection with a series of fights Saturday night that ultimately injured a Conneaut police officer, according to Conneaut Municipal Court records.

Ryan Belcher, 25, of Springboro, Pa., has been charged with riot, resisting arrest and menacing in connection with the incident, a court spokeswoman said Thursday. Belcher, who is in jail, will be represented by a public defender at a pre-trial hearing July 22, according to records.

Johnny R. Gregory Sr., 44, 789 Broad St., Conneaut, will be arraigned Tuesday on charges of riot and obstructing official business, the spokeswoman said.

So far, five people have been charged in connection with brawls that broke out around 10:30 p.m. Saturday in the 700 block of Broad Street when police tried to arrest one of the combatants. The most serious charge, felonious assault, has been aimed at Anthony Gagat, 23, 438 W. Main Road, Conneaut, who police said attacked and seriously injured Patrolman Thomas Simcich. Officers said Gagat grabbed Simcich, lifted him into the air and then drove him head first into the ground. Simcich suffered a concussion, bruises and lacerations, said Police Chief Charles Burlingham.

Gagat this week was bound over to the Ashtabula County grand jury on the felony charge, according to court documents. He has already been found guilty of riot and resisting arrest charges and was sentenced to a total of nine months in jail by Municipal Court Judge Thomas Harris.

Two other men, Johnny Ray Gregory, 23, 789 Broad St.; and Anthony Mareno, 24, 795 Broad St., have been charged with misdemeanors related to the fights, according to court records.