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Warren police officer sues state prison inmate



Published: Thu, January 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



WARREN -- A city police officer and State Farm insurance are seeking to recoup $100,000 from a state prison inmate who dragged the cop with his car two years ago.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and Sgt. Robert M. Massucci of the Warren Police Department filed suit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court against David Molina, now at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, Conneaut.

Molina, formerly of Mineral Ridge, admitted dragging the police officer with his car and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Molina pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated vehicular assault and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.

Details of the case

According to the lawsuit and police reports, Massucci stopped the 1995 Pontiac that Molina was driving Feb. 22, 2003, on Clarence Street Southeast for a traffic violation.

Massucci asked Molina a few questions, then Molina, who was 30 at the time, started to drive off.

Massucci attempted to grab onto Molina's arm and became entangled in the driver's side door. Massucci said he yelled at Molina to stop the car, but Molina kept going.

The vehicle crashed shortly thereafter. Massucci was dragged about three blocks, suffering a broken leg.

Massucci says he suffered pain and injury of body and mind, incurred medical expenses and was prevented from doing normal activities, "including but not limited to the pursuit of gainful employment."

At that time, Massucci was covered by an automobile policy issued by State Farm, which provided for uninsured motorist benefits.

Molina at the time had just completed a 62-day sentence in the Trumbull County jail. Judge Michael Bernard of Girard Municipal Court revoked Molina's probation and sentenced him for driving without a license.

State Farm paid Massucci $100,000 as compensation for his injuries.

The plaintiffs now want a judgment against Molina for $100,000 plus interests and costs. The case is assigned to Judge John Stuard.




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