Woman sentenced in fight that injured Youngstown cop
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
One of six women charged with injuring a Youngstown police officer during a fight will spend a year in prison.
Briyanna Littlejohn, 21, of Eastway Drive, appeared Tuesday before Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for sentencing.
She previously had pleaded guilty to felony charges of assault and aggravated riot.
The charges against Littlejohn stem from an altercation between two carloads of women in March 2011. Youngstown Police Officer Bridget Quinn responded to the call for a disturbance and was injured breaking up the fight.
Quinn said she arrived at the location to find several woman standing outside of two cars engaged in a verbal altercation. She said she tried to separate the women, but Briyanna Littlejohn tried to attack one of the other women, leading to a melee.
Multiple women at the scene began to fight with the officer, but Littlejohn was deemed the primary aggressor.
Quinn, who spoke at the sentencing, told the judge the incident has taken a toll on her physically and emotionally. The officer said she has lost 30 pounds.
“I was there to make peace. I was there to break this up, and I became the victim,” she said.
Nicholas Brevetta, an assistant county prosecutor, said the case against Littlejohn and the five other women is a situation where a message must be sent to the general public.
“It is important to protect those who protect us,” he said. “This is the type of case where a message has to be sent to the general public that you don’t do this to a police officer.”
Littlejohn told the court it was never her intention to hurt Quinn. She said she was trying to defend herself in the fight and did not realize there was a police officer grabbing her.
“My intention was not to hurt the officer. Who would hurt a police officer?” she said.
Littlejohn said she has lost her full-time job, home and car as a result of the incident.
Atty. Kara Stanford, representing Littlejohn, asked for probation for her client, saying Littlejohn has entered job-training courses, is studying for her General Educational Development diploma and would like anger-management training.
Judge Durkin said Littlejohn could have avoided the situation if she simply had done as she was told by Quinn and other officers at the scene.
“It was the position of prosecutors that you were the primary individual responsible. ... She [Quinn] afforded everyone the opportunity to get back in their cars and you did not do that,” he said. “When a police officer tells you to do something, you do it. Had you done that, you would not be standing here.”
Judge Durkin handed down a one-year sentence on each of the felony counts to be served concurrently. He also ordered Littlejohn to take part in anger-management training.
Jenicia Abrams, 19, of Parkwood Avenue, another woman involved in the fight, was sentenced to an 18-month probation last week. Her sister Jamalia Abrams, 21, of Logan Avenue, was also involved in the melee but may have additional legal troubles after another arrest earlier this week.
Police charged Jamalia Abrams with driving under suspension Saturday in Youngstown.
She has a pretrial hearing before Judge Durkin in the assault case March 15. She is due in Youngstown Municipal Court on March 21 on the DUS charge.
Brittany Littlejohn, Briyanna’s sister, Ronisha Harris and Alicia Davis, the remaining defendants in the assault case, also are due in common pleas court March 15.