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City of Cleveland v. Borden

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

December 14, 2017

CITY OF CLEVELAND PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
CORONA BORDEN DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2016 CRB 007146

          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, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN A. GALLAGHER, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Corona Borden appeals her convictions for assault and aggravated menacing in Cleveland Municipal Court. We affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         {¶2} 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.

         {¶3} 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.

         {¶4} 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 want."

         {¶5} 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.

         {¶6} 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.

         {¶7} 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.

         {¶8} 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 ...


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