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MAHONING COUNTY Canfield Road man facing charges related to shooting



Published: Thu, November 11, 2004 @ 12:00 a.m.



A woman was shot in the arm while trying to help her son and his girlfriend.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A Mahoning County grand jury indicted a Canfield Road man, who is accused of assaulting his former girlfriend and shooting another woman.

Robert Clark, 32, faces charges of felonious assault, aggravated robbery, violating a protection order and domestic violence.

There are also three firearm specifications, which could add a mandatory nine years to any prison sentence he receives if he is convicted.

Assistant Prosecutor Jay Macejko said that Tanita McElroy and her boyfriend, Christopher Simmons, were leaving Simmons' Indianola Avenue house Sept. 13 when they were rapidly approached by Clark and two unidentified men.

While the other two men restrained Simmons at gunpoint, Clark grabbed McElroy and began punching her, Macejko said. He said McElroy is Clark's former girlfriend and is the mother of his child.

After Simmons' mother, Frances Simmons, heard the commotion, she ran outside and pleaded with the assailants to leave her son and McElroy alone.

What happened next

Macejko said Christopher Simmons broke free from the men who were holding him, took hold of his mother and started moving her back toward the house.

He said McElroy told police that's when she heard Clark tell the other two men to "shoot 'em up."

Gunshots were fired, and Mrs. Simmons was shot in her left arm. No one else was hit.

McElroy broke free from Clark and ran into the house with the Simmonses, while Clark and the other two men ran away, Macejko said.

He said police have not yet been able to identify the men believed to have helped Clark. They could eventually be charged if their identities are determined.

Clark was under a court order to stay away from McElroy at the time. The order had been effect since July 28, 2003, Macejko said.

He said Christopher Simmons was robbed of some personal effects while the unidentified men were restraining him, which was the reason for the aggravated robbery charge.

Ex-cop indicted

Also indicted Wednesday was 33-year-old Christopher M. Bonacci of North Bon Air Avenue, a former Youngstown police officer. He faces one count of possessing cocaine.

The charge is a fifth-degree felony, which means Bonacci could be sentenced to one year in prison or could be placed on probation if he is convicted.

Bonacci, who resigned from the police department a year ago, was arrested last month in the 300 block of Cohasset Drive. He was a passenger in a car in which suspected crack cocaine was found during a traffic stop.

bjackson@vindy.com




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