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21-year Youngstown officer fired over shotgun incident in late May



Published: Sat, July 30, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

jgoodwin@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A city police officer has been fired for his role in a May incident involving a shotgun.

The officer’s wife, however, said the incident has been unfairly documented and that they will fight for his job.

Aaron Coleman, 49, a 21-year veteran of the police force, was terminated this week after an internal- affairs investigation. Coleman had been on paid administrative leave from the department for the last two weeks.

A letter notifying Coleman said the termination was because of Youngstown police rule and policy violations including: conduct unbecoming, incompetence, abuse of position, associations, processing property and evidence, and reporting law violations.

The termination stems from a May 25 incident during which Coleman was said to have accompanied an armed friend, Michael Baum, 41, of Burghill Avenue, to a South Side location to collect on the friend’s drug debt.

According to police reports, a 23-year-old East Indianola Avenue woman and her 25-year-old North Lima female friend were at an Indianola Avenue house when Baum came through an unlocked back door carrying a handgun.

The women told police Baum ordered them to the ground and demanded money, then used the gun to strike one of the women twice in the back of her head.

Baum, before leaving the house, threatened to return, shoot everyone inside and burn the building down, the women said.

According to police, Baum called one of the women’s boyfriends to settle the dispute. He then returned to the house shortly before 7 p.m., this time carrying a shotgun in his pickup truck and accompanied by his friend, Coleman, who was off duty.

Baum told police he brought the shotgun because he believed the woman’s boyfriend would be armed.

When Baum got to the house, he got out of the pickup truck with the shotgun, placed it on the truck’s hood and got into a fist fight with the woman’s boyfriend.

According to the police reports, Baum fell to the ground during the fight, and the boyfriend grabbed the shotgun and fired one shot into the air. Coleman then identified himself as a police officer and took the shotgun, placing it back in the truck, the boyfriend said.

Coleman broke up the fight, and Baum was arrested.

Baum has been indicted on aggravated-burglary charges and is awaiting trial.

Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said Baum tried to purchase drugs from the women but had his money taken. Hughes said Baum returned to the house to demand his money or the drugs.

“We don’t hire ourselves out as debt collectors, and we certainly don’t work as muscle for drug dealers or users,” said Hughes. “Our investigation shows he was a willing participant in this action with Baum to recover those funds or drugs.”

Joyce Coleman, Aaron Coleman’s wife, said her husband was not present when Baum first went to the house and was not aware that there was a shotgun in the car when Baum went to the house a second time. She said her husband got off work with a headache, ordered a pizza and then, at her urging, went with Baum to collect money owed for the purchase of tires.

“My husband was home wearing a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and a pair of flip-flops,” she said. “Michael [Baum] wrote in an affidavit that he never told Aaron there was a gun in the car when he came here.”

Coleman has a right to take the matter to arbitration, and his wife said that is definitely the plan because she wants to clear her husband’s name. She said the couple believes the termination is the result of retaliation for past incidents. She plans to speak about those incidents at a later date.

“I believe 100 percent that Aaron will get his job back and the truth will come out,” she said.


Comments

1Bplus(103 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

cops...

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

The firing is justified. Drugs, Guns, and Cops don't mix!

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3whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Another episode of a dirty cop hiding behind his badge.

He threw out the cop commands when he was getting his A## beat.

Throw the book at him....

Keep him in General Population he will get tuned up....

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Ripoffs in the hood are a natural . Once the money is absorbed recovery is like squeezing the sands of the Sahara for water . Aaron Coleman wasn't very street smart .

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5foxyglo(372 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

WELL AS FOR WIFEY, SHE IS GONNA FIGHT TO HELP GET HUBBY'S JOB BACK. SHE SHOULD HAVE FOUGHT TO KEEP HIS AZZ @ HOME AND EAT THE PIZZA WITH HER. HE COULD AS WELL BEEN SHOT AND KILLED WHILE HE WAS OUT MINDING SOMEONE ELSE'S BUSINESS. HE SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT HIS FAMILY AND HIS JOB, KEPT HIS FLIP FLOPPY AZZ HOME WITH HIS WIFE. THERE ARE DIRTY COPS, IN HIS CASE HE KNEW WHAT WAS GONNA GO DOWN BEFORE HAND. YOU CAN;T PLAY BOTH SIDES. HE KNEW HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIS FRIEND CALL THE COPS BECAUSE I AM OFF DUTY AND I AM GETTING READY TO BITE INTO PIZZA WITH MY WIFE. LOL THE ECONOMY IF TOUGH, NOW MAYBE HIS AZZ CAN GET A JOB JUST BEING SECURITY WITHOUT A GUN. HELLO LOL

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6steelwagon(284 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

collect money owed for the purchase of tires

Most everybody knows "tires" has been a code word for drugs for a long time.
I.E. "Hey man I got those tires you wanted"
"I'm going to sell those tires you wanted"
I don't know maybe the Mrs.wasn't aware.

However I find it impossible to believe a 21 year Y-Town cop was that gulliable.
The wife says Coleman didn't know there was a shotgun in the truck.
How do you hide a full size shotgun in the cab of a pick-up truck ?

I doubt it was stuffed behind the seat risking damage to the gun and I know it wasn't tossed in the bed of the truck to bounce and roll around.

And why didn't Coleman get out of the truck and I.D.himself as a cop when the fight first started ?
Why did he wait until his buddy was getting his azz kicked and the boyfriend took control of the shotgun before acting?

"From my lips to God's ears"
I thought pigs could fly your honor"
Coleman's "I didn't know" story doesn't hold water.
This man was a 21 year vet of the Y-Town P.D.

He knew the neighborhood they were going into and was well aware of what goes on in that area.
Apparently he and Baum were friends and I'm sure Coleman was well aware of Baum's habits.

He went along as muscle and backup for his buddy just in case it all went sour.

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7Askmeificare(711 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Piece of trash dirty cop.

I hope this former officer faces jail time and spends the remainder of his life doing hard blue collar labor.

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8MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

This is nothing new. But, it's getting old.

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