Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2016 CRB
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Carmen P. Naso Milton A. Kramer Law
Clinic Case Western Reserve University Scott Bobbit Marcus
Mazurowski Kristi Winner Certified Legal Interns Milton A.
Kramer Law Clinic Case Western Reserve University
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Barbara Langhenry City of Cleveland
Law Director By: Kimberly G. Barnett-Mills Chief Assistant
Prosecutor Aric Kinast Assistant City Prosecutor
BEFORE: E.A. Gallagher, P.J., McCormack, J., and Celebrezze,
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. GALLAGHER, P.J.
Defendant-appellant Corona Borden appeals her convictions for
assault and aggravated menacing in Cleveland Municipal Court.
and Procedural Background
Borden was charged with assault and aggravated menacing
stemming from a March 21, 2016 incident at the Laronde
Apartments in Cleveland, Ohio. The case proceeded to a bench
trial where the following facts were adduced.
Shirley Pierre testified that she did not know Borden. On
that day, she encountered Borden in the vestibule of the
Laronde Apartments. The building has a security door that
requires visitors to be buzzed in by a resident in order to
gain entry. When Pierre opened the front door to check her
mail in the vestibule, Borden moved past her and entered the
lobby of the building. Pierre asked Borden not to enter the
building because it was against the building policy and she
would not have allowed Borden entry due to the fact that she
did not know her. Borden refused and placed a bag and a
suitcase near the front desk in the lobby.
Richard Pollard, a 72-year old resident at the Laronde
Apartments, was present in the lobby at the request of the
building manager in order to ensure access to the building
for maintenance workers. Pollard had experience working at
the front desk of the building and was familiar with the
procedure for visitors to gain admission to the building.
Pollard was alerted to a heated argument between Pierre and
Borden, who was unfamiliar to him. Pollard intervened in the
argument and Borden told him she was a home health aide for a
resident in the building and that she was trying to reach her
daughter on the second floor. Pollard informed Borden that
she needed to sign in at the front desk and asked her name.
Borden refused to provide her name and began to direct
profanity at Pollard and Pierre. In addition to the profanity
Pierre testified that Borden stated, "I'm tired of
you old people trying to tell us what to do. I do what I
In response to Borden's profanity Pollard testified that
he informed Borden that instead of calling the police he was
going to move Borden's bags to the vestibule where she
could continue to attempt to contact whoever she was trying
to reach. Pollard stated, "I'm going to help you
move your groceries out here because this profanity is too
much." Pollard than began to pull Borden's luggage
to the vestibule. Borden responded by pushing Pollard and he
fell over the arm of a nearby couch, landing in the middle of
the couch. The encounter was captured on the building's
video surveillance system and offered as evidence at trial.
Pollard testified that he got off the couch and called the
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police. Pierre
testified that after Borden pushed Pollard, Borden began
making threats saying, "I'm going to shoot both of
you. I have a gun. I have a permit." The security video
reflects that the various parties moved in and out of the
lobby while awaiting the arrival of the police. Pierre
testified that Borden kept up a steady conversation about her
gun and the fact that her husband was a police officer.
Pierre testified that she did not know if Borden had a gun on
her person but was fearful of her safety because of
Borden's threats and believed that Borden could come back
and harm her. She testified that she remained in the lobby
awaiting the police despite her fear because she felt she and
Pollard were in the situation together.
CMHA Police Officer Rhett Lariccia responded to the Laronde
Apartments and separated Borden from Pollard. Lariccia
testified that Borden was irate and said of Pollard, "I
whooped his * * * [posterior]." Pollard testified that
he sustained a back injury as a result of his fall.
The trial court found Borden guilty on both counts and
imposed suspended sentences of 180 days in jail on both
counts. The court ordered Borden to serve one year of