VINDY EXCLUSIVE | Niles officer: Shot that killed Niles woman apparently accidental
By Ed Runyan
A city police detective testified that the man accused of shooting Britney Mazanec to death outside the Hideaway Lounge Feb. 24 said he did so accidentally while striking the window of her car with his hand while holding a gun.
Detective Anthony Roberts testified Monday in Niles Municipal Court that Ryan Daniels Sr., 28, of Hunter Street in Warren said he struck the front passenger window of Mazanec’s car twice after it “brushed” him while in motion.
Daniels said the car struck him while he was “leaned over to help” after seeing an unknown black female and two white females involved in an altercation.
Mazanec and a friend were apparently driving away from the tavern in Mazanec’s car at the time. The friend told a 911 operator shortly after the 2:15 a.m. shooting, she and Mazanec, 33, of Niles, were trying to leave when Mazanec fell unconscious.
The friend apparently did not realize Mazanec had been shot because she told the dispatcher she didn’t know why her friend had fallen unconscious but that it happened just after a male had “smashed out” the car’s window.
The Trumbull County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound that entered her right arm and then entered her chest.
The friend said the window smashing occurred after “this chick was trying to bite me because I told her I didn’t want no beef with her.”
Roberts testified Daniels had struck the window “in attempts to, I guess, get the driver’s attention.” “After the second strike at the window, the firearm was accidentally discharged,” Roberts said.
Daniels had left the scene by the time police arrived, but he turned himself in later to police. Daniels is being held in the Trumbull County jail in lieu of $1 million bond, charged with reckless homicide, a mid-level felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Daniels said he was at the tavern for a birthday party and drank alcoholic beverages, Roberts testified.
In cross-examination by Daniels’ attorney, John Juhasz, Roberts said he had spoken with another male besides Daniels that night who also said he had been struck by Mazanec’s car.
Roberts agreed that no one had indicated Daniels was “waving the firearm in a threatening fashion” at any point.
“So is there any reason for you, based on your investigation, to conclude that this was anything other than what Mr. Daniels told you – the gun went off accidentally?”
“No, sir,” Roberts said.
After the testimony, Judge Chris Shaker said he found that it is “more likely than not” that Daniels committed the offense and bound the case over to a Trumbull County grand jury. The judge kept bond at $1 million.