By Ed Runyan
The owner of the closed Olympic Inn tavern on Parkman Road Northwest says in a federal lawsuit that the accidental shooting Aug. 4, 2012, of the woman living next door to the tavern didn’t originate on tavern property, nor does evidence link the tavern to the shooting.
Linda Gadd of Johnson Plank Road in Bazetta also alleges that Warren City Council members, including Eddie Colbert and Vince Flask, acted improperly in their dealings with her and that certain actions interfered with her ability to sell the business.
“To this day, there has been no direct connection between the parties involved in the shooting and [the tavern],” the suit says.
However, the Warren police report pertaining to the case does link the bar to the shooting, and police say the argument that led up to the shooting began inside the Olympic Inn.
Antonio M. Price, 27, of Arthur Drive Northwest, was sentenced to 14 years in prison last month for firing an errant bullet outside the tavern that hit Pamela Dial, 43, who was sleeping in her bed in the house next door. The bullet didn’t enter her brain, but it did cause extensive injuries.
Gadd voluntarily closed the tavern after the shooting and has not reopened it. The Ohio Division of Liquor Control also refused to renew the tavern’s liquor license in March, after Warren City Council voted to recommend nonrenewal.
“Furthermore, there has yet to be a connection established between the [tavern], Mr. Price or the intended target of the shooting,” the lawsuit said.
But Warren police detectives say the early-morning shooting was the continuation of an argument that began inside the Olympic Inn, then flowed into the parking lot of the tavern.
The gunfire that injured Dial came from an area close to the property line between the Olympic Inn and Warren Concrete, detectives say. The police report says the shot was fired “from the south side of the Olympic Inn lot.”
The lawsuit says: “Shots were seen being fired from the parking lot adjacent to the [tavern’s] establishment, said property is owned and operated by Warren Concrete.”
The suit says Colbert and Flask met with her shortly after the shooting and said city council voted privately to object to the renewal of her liquor license, which is a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
Colbert said Gadd’s allegations of an illegal meeting and other things are not true.
The suit, which also names the city of Warren and city council as defendants, seeks at least $2.5 million in damages for slander, violation of due-process rights, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation and interference with a business relationship.