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Assault witness says Hagan was belligerant one



Published: Wed, February 10, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

Dancer’s mom: Image of Dorian Thomas has been distorted

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Dorian Thomas

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Rep. Robert F. Hagan, D-Youngstown. (AP Photo/Larry Phillips)

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN — The family of a man accused of knocking out an area politician at a downtown caf says the situation is being unfairly depicted to the public.

Dorian Thomas, 30, of Youngstown, appeared for arraignment Tuesday before Judge Elizabeth Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court on a felonious-assault charge. Thomas, a dancer, told the court he is a full-time student at Youngstown State University and works part time on the university campus.

Prosecutors told the court that Thomas has no past criminal record.

Judge Kobly appointed an attorney for Thomas and set his bond at $10,000. He is in the Mahoning County jail.

The charge stems from an altercation between Thomas and state Rep. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th, at The Lemon Grove Caf and Lounge, 122 W. Federal St., in downtown Youngstown.

Thomas reportedly punched Hagan in the face, knocking out the politician.

Wanda Thomas, Dorian Thomas’ mother, attended the arraignment with a host of other family members and supporters.

Thomas, who was moved to tears during the hearing, said she is tired of the skewed image being painted of her son.

She said she was in the downtown restaurant when the altercation took place. Her son was performing in the restaurant when Hagan and a group of others walked into the business.

She said Hagan stood close to and directly in front of her, blocking her view of the stage.

Wanda Thomas gave the following account of what transpired in the few minutes after Hagan stood near her in the restaurant:

She said she asked Hagan to move several times, but he refused.

Dorian Thomas, his mother said, left the stage area after his performance and asked Hagan to make room for his mother to see the stage, but Hagan responded that it was her fault she could not see because she was seated behind those standing.

Wanda Thomas said a second request from her son for Hagan to move was met with the use of a four-letter word.

She said more words were exchanged between the two men, and someone rushed toward her son when he threw the punch that knocked the politician to the floor.

Hagan, 60, denies making any derogatory or foul comments and said he is insulted by her accusation. He said additional questions should be directed to the city prosecutor.

“I have no idea who his mother is or what she looks like,” Hagan added. “I did nothing to provoke or justify being knocked out and having my daughter thrown on me by someone in their family while being knocked out.”

Wanda Thomas insisted her account of the events is accurate. She said her son is not at all a violent man and rejected such characterizations.

Hagan said he, his wife and his youngest daughter, a college freshman, went to The Lemon Grove after having dinner at Caf Cimmento, another downtown restaurant, 120 E. Boardman St.

The three then went to the lounge to watch the dance performance.

Hagan said he received 11 stitches to his chin and suffered a concussion and rib injuries, the latter occurring when he fell to the floor.

jgoodwin@vindy.com


Comments

1future(1 comment)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

A concussion, rib injuries, and eleven stitches? That sounds like a lot for a punch, and Dorian is not a large man. I was there and saw what happened and Hagan was being a jerk and did use profanity. Dorian should not have punched anyone, and he's going to pay for it. But let it be know that your 60th district state rep is no innocent victim here.

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2NorthSideJoe(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"Assault witness" was the thug's mother? Give me a break. My mother thought my face was pretty too.

If you want real witnesses read the police report.

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3NorthSideJoe(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

This is the same nutcase who wielded a taser after her violent son attacked a 60 year old man.

"Thomas’ mother was seen with a stun gun"

http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/feb/09...

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4DrGoo(297 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Just to put this into perspective

here is a pic of the last dance show at the lemon grove. Keep in mind the performance area is in the front, near the windows.
http://hphotos-snc1.fbcdn.net/hs135.s...

This dance show didn't have as many people in the audience(due largely to the snow), but there were enough people.
In places like these it is custom to move(not stay seated) if you can't see.

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Dorian did what many of us in the valley would like to do - deck a liberal socialistic DemoLiar like Hagan. Unfortunately, he will now pay the price with jail time. Having met Hagan a few times at various meetings, I know he knows more then a few choice 4 letter words.

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6Lifes2Short(3878 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Bottom line, violence doesn't solve anything. In fact you just get in more trouble. If you need to hit someone because they swore at you in a bar or your not moving, you don't resort to fighting or sucker punching someone. Low class.

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7Tigerlily(500 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I love how you people decry Youngstown as unsafe due to violence of this sort, yet applaud the violence since it was committed against someone whose political values are different from yours.

Hypocrites.

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8DirtForce_1(40 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree Tigerlily....and Unionforever, you are a complete idiot..typical union mentality!

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9mikeymike(469 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't like Bob Hagan,he is very arrogant,but he didn't deserve to be attacked in such a violent manner.Anyone who thinks It's ok to attack someone,needs help.Union forever you are part of the problem,I agree with Lifes2 Short,violence doesn't solve anything.

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10HereToServe(39 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

He should have moved and let those sitting watch. Maybe she couldn't stand because of health problems. Maybe she carried a taser for her own safety.

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

What is amusing is the fact that the rowdy Dorian greeting Hagan and his mother didn't recognize Hagan . Should Bob appologize for allowing Wanda's son to be arrested and have all the charges dropped ?

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12Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

There is no such thing as a "random act of violence" if I may use Hagan's words from earlier. Having worked in the medical field, we have had patients come in with broken jaws all the time claiming they were just standing there and someone went up and punched them in the face for no reason.

What a load of crap, please don't take us for idiots.

When Hagan says he did nothing to provoke such an outburst and that he politely said no to the request, chances are he probably came off as arrogant and rude, even though he may personally not think so.

I have seen this kind of thing before where people can be outright rude and they continue to believe in their own mind that they were polite and courteous. And then they wonder what they did even though it was obvious to everyone else that the person was being a jerk.

It is a mental thing. That is not to say this happened exactly that way, but knowing Hagan's personality type, I would not be surprised if this was the case.

I don't particularly like Hagan, but there is no excuse for putting him on the floor like that, no matter what he said.

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13DrGoo(297 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

actually capacity is 120... the pic is probably at 100. The punching night there was probably 65.

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14northsideart(111 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't matter what Hagan said. Why even print this story? People talk smack all the time in Youngstown. If you elevate a verbal confrontation to a physical confrontation, you're breaking the law. Hurt feelings are not an excuse for physically attacking someone.

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15majick(34 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

After looking at the photo link above, I can assure you I wouldn't be going in there. I'm sure it's a great place, but looks very unsafe to me. No clear aisles between the chairs assures me that if there were an emergency, there are too many obstacles to get to an exit safely. I can surely see why Hagan was in someone's way! And Dorian, you need to learn to walk away or find another way besides using force. Just one moment of anger may just mess up your future career! No one is worth that!! Voice your opinion of Mr. Hagan by voting on election day!!

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16DrGoo(297 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

also it should be noted that it's a lot less cluttered now than it was when the pic was taken(the pic being taken around the 2nd week it was open). There's better seating, and isles and what not. That being said, It's just bound to happen. Someone will stand in front of another person.

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17redvert(2099 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

ChadSnaggler, does your mommy know you got onto the computer again. You are going to get a timeout!!!

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18walter_sobchak(1979 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Mix alcohol, crowds, and women dancing on stage and you have a good recipe for this sort of thing happening. It's not like this is the first time something like this has happened in a bar. There is a reason that bars employ badass guys with arms like tree trunks to keep the peace.

Hopefully, Bob won't have any deleterious effects from the punch like voting against another tax increase as higher taxes are genetic with all the Hagans.

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19JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It literally doesn't matter if Hagan verbally provoked the kid or not; verbally provoking someone isn't a crime but assault is. I'd hope that Hagan didn't insult the kid but if in fact he did it is of no consequence other than in the court of public opinion.

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20city_resident(513 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"How did the fire department arrive at the capacity of 120? We wouldn't want the Lemon Grove to turn into the Cocoanut Grove."

I can't speak for the fire dept. or the owners of the Lemon Grove, but the Ohio Building Code states that, in a space with an assembly use that is unconcentrated, (tables and chairs) the occupancy of that space is based on 15 square feet per person.

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21DrGoo(297 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

also what the picture does not show is the fact there is more space, and an exit in, back. This is just the front half of the cafe where the performance was going on. There were not as many people in back cause there was nothing going on.

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22NorthSideJoe(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Anyone who thinks Hagan should have just moved out of the way. Look at that picture. I've never gone to the Lemon Grove and not expected someone to get in my way as they walked in the door. The mother is the arrogant one.

With the level of music in there, she would HAVE to yell at Hagan to move to get his attention (in agreement with what he says).

If she really did politely ask for him to move, its no wonder he didn't. He couldn't hear her.

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23verita(14 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I've never been to a concert or public event with seating and standing room when someone didn't stand in front of me to block my view, but I've never even thought about throwing a punch if they were rude and didn't move. If you're one of those who thinks rudeness justifies physical assault, you've not yet been civilized and shouldn't be allowed in public or around others, except in jail.

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24NorthSideJoe(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

http://hphotos-snc1.fbcdn.net/hs135.s...

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25DrGoo(297 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

who knows? My point was; the place is not a theater. So, there's no seating plot, no assigned seats, and there's always going to be sight line issues. I think a patron should have that in mind when going to a show at the lemon grove.

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26DrGoo(297 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

north side joe your pic doesn't work

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27crl(18 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

This is not an uncommon occurrence when you mix alcohol and crowds. But no one has the right to sucker punch someone for being rude. Just because it happened in downtown Youngstown and because it involved a politician, it becomes news. This isn't news, and it's not an indication of the safety of downtown. Things like this happen all over.

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28lemongrovecafe(18 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The occupancy permit is 134. We have 2 doormen (one for each door, front and back) for every show to ensure the head count is adhered to and for security. Dorian escorted out an instant after he punched Rep. Hagan.

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29city_resident(513 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

PaulB,

According to the county auditors site, the building that houses the Lemon Grove is about 150' long. So, 1800/140 (removing 10 feet for wall thickness and stage area) = a little less than 13.

I've only been to the Lemon Grove a few times, but I could believe the public space is an average of 13 feet wide. As far as I know, how people arrange themselves in that public space is not dictated by the OBC.

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30city_resident(513 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the reply lemongrovecafe.

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31here(17 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Chiming in again.. can't help myself when I see numbers that don't add up!

The auditor's site says the lot is 24.5 x 150 = 3675 square feet. If the 15 feet per person is correct, times 134 = 2010, that means that about 31% of the lot can be occupied by other things (not sure what would be considered other..bathrooms? Kitchen? Stage? Behind the bar? idk).

Either way, it stills sounds right to me. Like DrGoo said, that picture doesn't show the other half of the interior or the little patio they have outside the back (or is that an 'other' thing?), which are usually pretty sparsely occupied when there is live entertainment.

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32sue(173 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

What does Hagan do for a living?
Someone told me he works for a railroad.

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33JD010101(137 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm, I wonder if Bobby made a racial comment that if uttered would receive a response of a right cross. Just thinking out loud here.

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34JD010101(137 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I think he works for CSX railroad. Thats whats has been in the wind.

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35JD010101(137 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I think he works for CSX railroad. Thats whats has been in the wind. I wonder if he was on his FRA mandatory rest time and when his next call out was?

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36thirdthink(11 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!! I don't even know what this last comment has to do with this story, but it looks like the author is insinuating that Hagan shouldn't be allowed to eat dinner in downtown Youngstown with his family.

Vindy: What is up here!?! We have multiple stories, all of which have ZERO investigative journalism. From the reports I read, this "witness" is involved in the incident and reportedly pulled out a taser when this happened. Where are the questions about the this? Don't you need a concealed carry permit to have one outside your home or business???

Also, let's remember the context. Hagan and his family were there for about 2-3 minutes. That's not enough time to even start a fight???!

The real tragedy is that his 18 year old daughter had to step in to prevent Dorian from stomping his head in once Hagan hit the ground. She was promptly pushed down on top of her Dad. Shouldn't there be an additional assault charge pending?

I don't see how people turn this around on Hagan like he's some kind of plotting, devious, political superpower. Everyone blames him for being so politically conscious, but then accuses him of being "belligerent" to his constituents? Give me a break. He would never talk down to anyone in Youngstown unless they were going after the "little guy".

Even if you don't agree with Hagan's politics, if you have met him, you have to agree that he cares deeply for his fellow community members and the city. He IS THE MOST HUMBLE politician you will ever find in the Valley, maybe the state. Some of you are misinterpreting his humor as arrogance.

I won't even dignify JD01's first comment with a response. You obviously never met Hagan, and don't know the good people he associates with- mainly, ALL PEOPLE.

So Dorian never was violent until now- and I never wanted candy until I had my first piece. FAT DEAL...

Dorian's lucky. And, if the rest of you want Youngstown to improve you should stop promoting hatred, fear, and violence- and start supporting the people that support you.

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37Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"someone rushed toward her son when he threw the punch that knocked the politician to the floor."

Well there you have it ! Dorian was simply protecting himself !

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38candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Male misbehavior shouldn't come as too much of a shock... emasculating effects of under employment/unemployment in Youngstown.

Book club meets...Manhood In America written by sociologist Michael Kimmels...hosted by Bob.

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39dawgalong(86 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't like or dislike Hagan. Actually I have no opinion one way or the other, but I can imagine the circumstance. Chirping and rebuttle led to "a dancer" thinking that he owns the place and has the right to cold cock an old guy. Seen it before and believe that "the dancer" would have gotten his A** kicked on the west side for his actions. As for the mother, STFU and this situation may not have occurred.

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40munchkin97(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I know this young man and he's a sweetheart never been in trouble i believe Hagan edged him on. This boys loves his mother dearly and will protect her like a son should, I hate he's going through this. I hope the truth will come out!!! Dorian I'm praying for you

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41maximillian(1 comment)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I was there. Bob Hagan did nothing to provoke Dorian. I was in the way of Dorian's mother's view when the punch was thrown. No one came after Dorian. He might have been a good kid, but what good kid knocks out a 60 y/o man? The mother is a liar. She's trying to protect her son. Why did she take 4 days to talk to the detective? She had to make up a story.

I feel sorry for Dorian because he made a very bad decision. I feel more sorry for Mr. Hagan because he was assaulted and suffered substantial injuries.

It does not matter that he is an elected official; he was just a man at a bar with his family that night. He was in the bar for maybe 2 minutes when he got knocked to the floor.

I suggest Dorian and his family tell the truth and hope the prosecutor goes easy on him. I'm sure if he admits his wrong they can lessen the offense.

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42Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"I feel sorry for Dorian because he made a very bad decision."

I don't ! Let Dorian suffer the results .

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43stage7(3 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I just have 'this' to say to you all.
Be VERY Mindful that there 'IS' a Judge who is listening and weighing 'ALL' of 'your' thoughts, intentions and attitudes of the heart as you say what you do towards these people many of you know nothing about. We will all give account of every word we say, and those we don't say as well. I pray for all of us.... including Dorian and Hagan! Be sure, it'll 'ALL' come out in the 'wash'!!!

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44Drepster(13 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Judge Wapner?

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45justice48(8 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

hey lombardo, like your republicans did alot for us. there for the rich and thats all. .you people kill me. no one wants to come here because of the crime and the city of yougstowns taxes. i suppose you want another 8 yrs. of bush. if you do like it move then

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46elo1(9 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Come on Bob, man up a little. You popped off at the mouth then got popped in the mouth. I'd imagine you're angry about getting embarassed publicly by actually getting knocked out, but you got what you deserved, you know that! Man up, do the right thing and ask the prosecutor to drop the charges, let this kid finish school! Make us proud Bob, don't be a wimp!

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47northsideart(111 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

@ elo1

Since when is a 30 year old grown man a "kid?"

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48elo1(9 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

ha good point, although for the sake of my argument I'm still callin him a kid, none the less, although hittin the guy is a little extreme, time to cut his losses for runnin his trap and move on!

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49pnut(8 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Paulb,

You mean Socialist programs like public roads, streetlights,police,fire dept, schools, water,gas,electricity ?
Typical Wing-Nut Stooge. Learned a new word- Socialist,now you can't say anything else. Get a new word from Limpballs, this one is used up.

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50candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

http://shop.cafepress.com/miss-me-yet

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51mahoningvalley12(36 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I dont understand why people think Youngstown is unsafe because of this incident. Someone got knocked out in a bar....like this stuff doesn't happen in bars that are located in Atown or Boardman..give me a break.
Youngstown isn't exactly a model city in a lot of ways but they should be proud of at least attempting to rebuild downtown and this incident should not ruin a lot of people's hard work. Sounds like a politican talked some trash to an undisciplined young kid with a good right cross. I don't know about you but there are more than a few politicians I'd like to take a swing at now and again!

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52jason54692002(11 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Well this sounds like a case of kindergarden blues. He said she said type stuff just give Hagan a hugg and Thomas community service and pay restitution becasue no person has the right to put hand on another withought being harmed first or without permission. I mean its not the crime of the century and Thomas has no priors and should not have to go to jail over something that wouldnt normally be a problem.

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