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State Rep. Hagan assaulted at downtown cafe

Published: Sun, February 7, 2010 @ 6:54 p.m.


YOUNGSTOWN — State Rep. Robert F. Hagan said an assault against him at a downtown Youngstown restaurant over the weekend will not shake his faith in the renaissance of the central city. Hagan was punched in the face and knocked to the ground shortly after entering the The Lemon Grove Cafe on West Federal Street with his family at about 11 p.m. Saturday.

“We walked in, and a gentleman asked us to move out of the way,” Hagan, D-60th of Youngstown, said. “I told him to ‘back away, man,’” Hagan said, as the man taunted him with offensive language. The next thing Hagan said he remembered was interacting with ambulance personnel.

Hagan said the injuries required 11 stitches to his chin. He also suffered a concussion and an injured rib, he added.

Police arrested a suspect at the scene, Hagan said.

Hagan said he considered the assault a random act of violence and that he did not think his assailant knew him.

“I will continue to visit and continue to patronize downtown businesses, and I will continue to talk about how great the rebirth and renaissance of downtown Youngstown is, he said.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and Vindy.com


1north_side_girl(214 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

the guy who hit Sen. Hagan wasn't some drug dealing thug or hoodlum - but was a dancer who was part of a tap dancing show. just for clarification. so all you readers can be on the lookout not only for big scary looking guys, but also guys with tap shoes. IF WE CANT TRUST THE PERFORMING ARTS WHO CAN WE TRUST

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

"Hagan was punched in the face and knocked to the ground shortly after entering the The Lemon Grove Cafe on West Federal Street with his family at about 11 p.m. Saturday"

Stay out of there Robert ! It's not on my recommended list ! If downtown Youngstown isn't safe for our State Rep. it sure isn't safe for the rest of us . Let the trash decompose by themselves . There are plenty of other places to go with a civilized environment .

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3MFC997(261 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Tap dancer ??? C'mon you gotta be kidding me.

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4atek101(77 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually, the night life downtown has improved substantially in the past few years. In fact, there's nowhere in the Valley my friends and I would rather hang out than in Downtown Youngstown. The bars downtown offer great food, great brews, and a relaxing atmosphere. Plus, it's nice to be able to bar hop without having to get in your car. Plus, each of the many bars downtown has its own distinct character, and there's always bands playing or something going on pretty much every night of the week.

The Lemon Grove Cafe is a fine establishment that I've been to many times. It has a very new-age, artsy feel to it and it always draws in unique and interesting bands and performances on their stage. Not to mention the food is great, and you have your choice of a wide variety of both coffees and beers! I highly recommend it to anyone of any age. Nothing in the 'burbs even compares.

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5paulydel(1607 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The guy deserves to be arrested no matter who he punched. Where does he get off punching anyone. I hope the Judge gives him jail time and the maximum fine.

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6NoBS(2834 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

So Rep. Hagan just entered the place, and someone asked him to "move out of the way." They didn't tell him to get out, or even get away from them. Hagan was evidently standing in front of someone who was, until Hagan walked in, enjoying seeing the band or something. When asked to move out of the way, Hagan instead arrogantly tells the person to move away. Sorry, Bobby, you had it coming.

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7SemperTyrannis(49 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The Lemon Grove is a shining example for young people who care about this area. It's proprietor, along with many others, have put their sweat into that place in order to try and make a place for themselves in the area. It's shameful to see people on here encouraging others to abandon this and other downtown establishments.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

"It's shameful to see people on here encouraging others to abandon this and other downtown establishments. "

Let's see slammer time for the attack on Hagan and a public apology from the owner of the Lemon Grove Cafe . It is their duty to keep their patrons safe .

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9Alfred1775(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to buy this guy a beer! Seems like he showed him how frustrated a lot of people are.

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10Attis(1134 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

An octogenarian gets killed by a thug at a church in Youngstown; a politician gets mugged by a thug in a bar in downtown Youngstown; the AP broadcasts a story today about the dying of Youngstown and the Vindicator does not print it. It is when you know the truth, not when you deny it, that you are set free.

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11tankthorston(3 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Stan, this place is not on your list of reccomended places? What is, Fridays in Boardman? How is someone supposed to plan against a sucker punch to a state rep? Get real. For the record, the manager of The Lemon Grove knows a lot more than you about what is right for the valley. He just has less time for typing on a keyboard than you.

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12Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I've visited the Lemon Grove many a time since it opened, and have never witnessed anything like this happening, but things on occasion will happen anywhere. I was in a ritzy hotel in Orlando two years ago where I fight broke out in the bar. Folks, when alcohol is involved, fights occasionally break out. It's not something that happens just because it's in Youngstown. Alcohol will turn the richest, poshest, most groomed and successful people into nasty slobs. This is simply what occurred. Stan, go back to your cave. We've got a handle on things here, man.

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13lemongrovecafe(18 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

First of all let me say that I am personally sorry that such an unfortunate incident occurred here at the Lemon Grove. It is antithesis of what we represent. This was an unprovoked attack by a performer in the show (it was not a mugging) on Rep. Hagan.

For those who have been to the Lemon Grove you know that this is not indicative of our atmosphere, we do not tolerate actions like this. Though it makes no difference who the victim is in such wrong doing, it does make this even worse that it was inflicted upon Rep. Hagan, who has been such a strong supporter of us and other downtown establishments.

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14SemperTyrannis(49 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago


The guy is in allot of trouble and the owner knows Hagan personally; I'm sure he has apologized.

Just chill out in the suburbs Stan. We don't need you wetting your pants when you come to visit Youngstown.

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15UnsungHero(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I frequently patronize the establishments downtown, especially the stretch where the Lemon Grove is located. People that do not frequent these areas and do not know Bob Hagan should not be posting. This stereotype of downtown Youngstown being a dangerous place is not true. People would know if they actually patronized these places rather than the chains in Boardman and Niles.

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16watchingthepolitics(100 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I love going to establishments downtown, although I must admit I've never been to the Lemon Grove but, I will definitely go there now and I hope whoever punched Bob "DO NOTHING" Hagan is there so that I can buy him a drink. Hagan is so damn ARROGANT he probably had it coming. If I don't get the opprotunity to meet him all I can say is he deserves at least 1 atta boy

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17toddfranko(101 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

This is to put Attis' points regarding The Vindy into more balanced context:
The AP story was generated, in part, from the day-after-day coverage of this tragedy provided by The Vindy. The story even used our editorial.
The AP story is written differently and employs other historical references like Springsteen, the mob and Forbes rankings.
We didn't ignore the AP story. We'd written the tragic tale over and over since it happened.
Todd Franko

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18DonHarshbarger(22 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

The lemon grove is a great place for hanging out and has great music. On the other hand, Hagan probably got what he deserved. I am not one for violence but he has a history of being arrogant and running his mouth to people. I want to hear the other side of the story also and what the patrons say about what happened before i make a full conclusion though

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19mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Bob Hagan is very arrogant,he has an attitude,that he is better than you .He has an entitlement mentality,and expects people to bow down to him .I don't advocate violence,but I'm sure there is another side to the story.

Bob Hagan is nothing more than a professional politiciain,tell me what he has done for the valley.Hagan is a wind bag.

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20msweetwood(179 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Not to gang up on Attis, but in addition to the obvious references that Todd Franko pointed out, that specific article was published in The Vindicator on Saturday, Page A3 with an A1 refer.

Mark Sweetwood
Managing Editor

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21Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

lemongrovecafe :

Actions speak louder than words . You have total control over who you hire to perform there . This kind of entertainment will cause your business to be treated like a pariah .

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22justice48(8 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago


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23Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Mikeymike, all politicians are professional politicians, and if you don't realize that, you don't understand politics.

Stan, no one cares what you think. You talk too much on these threads for anyone to take you seriously. You're the only person who will treat the Lemon Grove as a pariah, and those few others who might probably never went there in the first place and will not be missed.

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24mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Tigerlily I fully understand all politicians are professional politicians,I understand politics very well.I was just stating a point,thanks for jumping on me,for no reason.Direct you anger in some other direction.

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25Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I jumped on you for a reason: your statement made it seem as if Mr. Hagan was the one politician out there who had made it his profession, and was a windbag (they all are).

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26mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

You are correct they all are wind bags,but Hagan comes out of the woodwork,and is more two faced than some.All politicians make it a life long career,I know that.

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27Hillbillyheartache(20 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

He is arrogant, i'm thinking he acted like a tough guy and then got hit in the face. We're only getting one side of the story. I want to hear the Tap Dancers side.

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28Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Tigerlily :

"Stan, no one cares what you think."

Your opinions certainly are valued by the feeble minded . :)

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291970mach1(1005 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't understand the people attacking the Lemon Grove over this. I was there once, it was nice though a bit pricey. Staff was good too. What was the LG supposed to do, ask all the tap dancers if they planned on assaulting anyone?

Besides, it seems VERY unlikely that the tap dancer just walked up and randomly punched Hagan. Seems like they had an altercation of some sort.

Need to know if Hagan was running his mouth and being arrogant before he got punched by the tap dancer, or if he was just an innocent victim.

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30candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Tap Dancer was mad about all the empty promises...

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31captainlinger(663 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

perhaps the only tap that should be in a bar is what beer is on tap (and that should always be sam adams)

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32howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

USA1--- What constructive ideas do you have to address these problems?

Or do you just like to whine about it over and over?

BTW bulldozing the city is NOT a constructive idea.

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33captainlinger(663 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

it's ironic that, at the top of this story, is a banner ad for "riverdance".

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34lemongrovecafe(18 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Here are the facts about "the kind of entertainment" that night.

It was a show put on by Brandon Martin a recent YSU theater graduate. He is the founder of UN ACT, an organization devoted to educating children about the arts.

The emcee was Brandon's mother Monica Beasley Martin who is an ordained minister and veteran of the Playhouse Theater.

The belly dancers were not some type of sleazy outfit, but members of EOS Whole Fitness which is a holistic fitness center based in yoga.

The perpetrator of the violence was not a random "street thug," but a dancer, poet, and actor. Though he, his mother, and father are now banned from the Lemon Grove, Dorian Thomas has been in many area performances in the past, without incident.

Those who have been downtown recently and have been to the Lemon Grove know what a positive direction we as a city are moving in. It is especially unfortunate that random acts of violence that happen everywhere including Boardman (I know, I worked in the mall for three years), are used to reinforce people's negative and limited perception of what Youngstown is.

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35ga(1 comment)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm pretty sure the article says that Hagan told the guy to back away only after the guy started taunting Hagan. Regardless of how you feel about the senator, this violent act was not deserved and most likely not provoked.

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36howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

USA1 post#43 I moved to Youngstown specifically to DO things about it! What are you doing?

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37thirdthink(11 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Alfred1775: get real. It's gross that you advocate violence. And no personal feelings involved, this clearly was not a political statement.

If we let everyone express their "frustration" in this manner, you might be the only one left....and i sure don't want that. You should buy yourself a beer buddy.

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38thirdthink(11 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

come to think of it 1775, you should buy watchingthepolitics, mikeymike, and DonHarshbarger the beers.

It's sick that you guys think someone deserves getting sucker-punched.

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39emmaR92(3 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I am a close friend of the Hagan family. I was there the night this incident happened and saw the whole thing. The Police quoted me as a witness. Mr. Hagan was out to a nice dinner with his wife, daughter, and friends. We all decided to go to the Lemon Grove afterwards. The lemon Grove is a very pleasant place to be and random acts of violence, such as this, are unusual. This whole incident happened at around 11p.m. This is what I saw that night:
On Saturday February 6th after attending dinner at Café Cimmentos downtown with Mr. and Mrs. Hagan and their daughter, we went to the Lemon Grove. The restaurant was crowded and there were belly dancers about to perform. An older woman was seated at a table in front of the door and stage trying to watch the belly dancers. There were people standing in front of her blocking her view and one of them was Mr. Hagan. She was complaining angrily because she could not see due to the people standing, blocking her view. Mr. Hagan said something that I don’t quite remember what it was. It was crowded and Mr. Hagan was trying to make his way through the crowd to where Mrs. Hagan, Natalia, and I were standing. On his way over a young man started to yell at Mr. Hagan for standing in front of the woman. Mr. Hagan turned and said something like there is no problem here. The young man continued to yell at him and was coming towards him. Mr. Hagan said something and then the young man punched Mr. Hagan very hard in the face causing him to fall back on the ground. Mr. Hagan was bleeding and could not recall being on the floor.

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