Man nearly shot by Niles cops gets 18-month sentence

Staff report


Eric H. Gladhill, 45, of Vienna Avenue in Niles, who narrowly escaped being shot by Niles police April 10 after he descended the stairs of his home holding a toy gun, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday.

Gladhill pleaded guilty in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to domestic violence, aggravated menacing and intimidation. He received a negotiated sentence and could have gotten up to six years in prison.

Gladhill’s wife, Cheryl, called 911 at 11:48 p.m. April 9, saying she was hiding from Gladhill because he was drunk and causing a disturbance.

When Niles police arrived a little after midnight, they announced their presence. Gladhill descended the stairs with the toy gun in his hand, Niles police said.

An officer fired three times toward Gladhill, Niles Police Chief Jay Holland said.

The officer was only able to see the gun and Gladhill’s hand because the stairwell was walled in, Holland said.

Gladhill returned up the stairs with the gun afterward, put down the gun and surrendered to police. No one was injured.

Cheryl Gladhill told The Vindicator she doesn’t know whether her husband realized he might have been close to getting shot to death when he approached officers with the toy gun in his hand.

“When he’s intoxicated, you don’t really know where his mind’s at,” she said. “I’m just glad they didn’t shoot him.”

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