Sunday, November 19, 2017 Elyria 38°

Cops and Courts

Charge dropped against Strongsville assistant girls’ basketball coach


ELYRIA — Prosecutors have dropped a disorderly conduct charge against a Strongsville assistant varsity basketball coach who had been accused of pushing a parent at an Elyria girls’ basketball game in December.

Michelle Nedwick, an Elyria city prosecutor, said the charge against Dawn Thall was dropped late last month following a review of the evidence in the case with police.

“After going through all the evidence, it appeared Ms. Thall was not the primary aggressor,” Nedwick said.

Elyria police reported in December that the altercation began after a 6-year-old reportedly was overheard making a derogatory comment to a group of Elyria High School students, who then allegedly made obscene gestures to the child. A spectator from Strongsville told police the comment wasn’t derogatory.

Thall’s defense attorney, Kenneth Lieux, said his understanding of the incident is that his client walked toward the argument because one of the players on the Strongsville team had gone over because her stepmother was involved.

While Thall was making her way there, she was restrained by one woman and punched by another, causing her nose to bleed, he said.

“She attempted to stop a quickly escalating situation and got punched in the middle of it,” Lieux said.

Nedwick said the Elyria woman who delivered the blow, LaTonya Mahone, has been placed in a diversion program.

A second Elyria woman, Yvette Spraggins, is awaiting trial on a disorderly conduct charge for her role in the incident.

Thall had been placed on leave by Strongsville Schools following the incident. The district did not respond to requests for comment on Thall’s current status Monday.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

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