Man, 53, is charged in assault
James Coxson waited for his victim in a restroom stall, police allege.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN, JR.
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BROOKFIELD -- A 53-year-old Hubbard man police say assaulted an employee at Valley View Antique Mall on Warren-Sharon Road will be back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.
James Henry Coxson of Price Shaffer Road has been charged with felonious assault in the Sunday attack that sent 58-year-old store employee Robert Stafford to the hospital with multiple injuries.
Coxson, a former store employee, was arraigned Monday in Trumbull County Eastern District Court before Judge Ronald Rice. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in Trumbull County Jail without bond. He is due in court at 10 a.m. Thursday.
According to police Chief Daniel Faustino, Stafford was taken to Sharon Regional Hospital, then transferred to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh with head and face fractures, and several missing teeth. Because of his injuries, Stafford could not speak to police at the time of the assault, but township police were at the hospital to speak with him Tuesday.
According to Faustino, Coxson hid in a stall in the restroom at the Valley View store Sunday waiting for Stafford to come in. When he did, Coxson hit him over the head with a pipe or some other type of metal object, Faustino said.
Coxson then ran from the store. Police reports say several witnesses were chasing Coxson when police caught up to him a short distance from the store.
Faustino said officers found a sawed-off shotgun, ski mask and a duffel bag in the stall where Coxson had been waiting. Police reports said officers also found three knives, a 12-gauge shotgun and .357-caliber ammunition, and a bottle of gasoline in Coxson's possession at the time of his arrest.
According to Faustino, officers also found a .357-caliber handgun that had been tossed in a field near the grassy area behind the store where Coxson had parked his car.
Reports say Coxson told officers Stafford ran into a wall in front of him then started yelling "no James no." Reports say Coxson told officers he got scared when Stafford started yelling and ran away.
Faustino said Coxson filed a report in March claiming someone at the store had assaulted him, but no charges were ever brought.
According to reports, Coxson, once in handcuffs, spoke to one of the witnesses who had been chasing him saying, "You know they tried to kill me."