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Campbell, bailiff sued for $1.5M



Published: Wed, March 30, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Staff report

CAMPBELL

A woman who was shot during a struggle with the Campbell Municipal Court bailiff last year is suing the city and the bailiff for $1.5 million.

Angela Trice-Harris, 30, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court earlier this month. It will be heard at the Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Youngstown.

Trice-Harris was shot March 5, 2010, while she was sitting in a car in front of the Campbell Municipal Building, which includes the municipal court.

Police reported then that she ran from the courtroom after Judge Patrick Cunning had ordered her arrested for a probation violation on a driving-under-suspension conviction. Bailiff James Cioffi ran after her, and when she got in the car, he drew his gun, police said.

As he approached the car, she grabbed his gun and pulled it toward her, police said. It discharged, they said. Detective Sgt. John Rusnak said then that police believed he acted in the scope of his duties, and they closed the case.

In the suit, Trice-Harris says she was given permission to leave the courtroom to have a cigarette. She says she was sitting in the car with the door open and her foot on the curb. Cioffi approached, yelling at her to return to the court room, the suit says.

She said she needed to adjust her prosthetic leg to stand up, then he reached for her, brandishing the gun, and shot her.

Trice-Harris filed the suit in federal court because she is alleging violations of her civil rights. She also alleges assault, battery, unlawful restraint and infliction of emotional distress.

The suit says the city is directly liable for Cioffi’s actions.


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