By SHELLEY TERRY

Staff Writer

sterry@starbeacon.com

ASHTABULA - - Judge Albert Camplese said Thursday he hasn't come to decision on City Solicitor Tom Simon's motion to dismiss the charges against a city police officer.

Patrolman Thomas P. Perry was cited April 2, 2005 by Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Dunn for failure to yield for a red light, records show.

Three weeks ago, before Perry's trial was to take place, Simon filed a motion to dismiss, Municipal Court records show.

"I'm working on (the decision) diligently," Camplese said. "I'm being very careful, there's a lot of interest in the case and I want it to be right."

Lt. Jim Sivak of the OHP's Saybrook post said Dunn's actions were the result of a thorough investigation.

"We stand by the investigation and any of the facts," Sivak said, noting emergency vehicles should proceed cautiously against a traffic signal.

Perry's problem began the afternoon when his police cruiser collided with Ashtabula resident Nalisha Hunt's car in the Ashtabula Harbor. He was responding to a 911 call concerning a fight in the 4200 block of Park Avenue, reports show. Perry and Hunt suffered minor injuries, police reports said.

OHP investigated the crash and Dunn issued Perry a traffic citation. Perry pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and then later asked the court twice for continuances.

As a result of Perry's not guilty plea, the case was referred to the city solicitor's office for prosecution. Simon requested copies of Perry's and Hunt's alcohol and drug screening tests.

Hunt's screen established she had the presence of opiates and THC (present in marijuana) in her system at the time of the collision, according to a report from Ashtabula County Medical Center.

Perry did not have any illegal substance in his system, Simon said.

Hunt also was driving with a suspended driver's license, according to the motion to dismiss. On Oct. 4, she pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle without a license, court records show.

Simon said Perry's cruiser did not go past the red light at the intersection, and the charge - - a minor misdemeanor - - should be dismissed.

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