The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 10, 2013

Three charged in fight that injured Conneaut officer

Charges are pending against two more

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Three Conneaut men have been charged, and charges are pending against two more, stemming from a Saturday night melee that seriously injured a city officer, according to Conneaut Municipal Court records.

Anthony Gagat, 23, 438 W. Main Road, has been charged with felonious assault in the attack on Patrolman Thomas Simcich that left the officer with a concussion, lacerations and bruises, according to reports. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, a court spokeswoman said.

Two other men have been charged in connections to a series fights that occurred before, during and after the attack on Simcich. Johnny Ray Gregory Jr., 23, 789 Broad St., has been charged with misdemeanor riot, obstructing official business and two counts of assault, according to reports. Anthony Mareno, 24, 795 Broad St., has been charged with riot, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice, the spokeswoman said.

Hearings will also be held Thursday morning for Gregory and Mareno, according to court records.

Simcich was one of a handful of officers dispatched to the 700 block of Broad Street late Saturday in response to a fight call. When an officer tried to arrest one of the combatants, he was “swarmed” by the subjects’ relatives, according to a police report. Multiple fights broke out, and during the brawls one man — identified as Gagat — grabbed Simcich and rammed him head first into the ground, briefly knocking him unconscious, officers said. Simcich recovered enough to aid in the arrest of one of the individuals, police said.

Simcich was treated and released at UH Conneaut Medical Center. He will be off work until at least the end of this week, said Police Chief Charles Burlingham.