Published: Saturday, November 3, 2007
3 locals sue over post-fight punches
Three men say a man claiming to be a state agent assaulted them.
YOUNGSTOWN An altercation after a Kelly Pavlik fight at the Chevrolet Centre a year ago has spawned a lawsuit by three spectators against the city, the city-owned arena and the Ohio Athletic Commission.
Also named as a defendant is an unknown man who allegedly assaulted the three spectators.
Larry Reese of Lutz, Fla., Ryan Reese of Canfield and Eric Reese of Austintown filed the suit, which seeks more than $25,000 in damages and demands a jury trial, in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
The suit alleges they were punched in the face and seriously hurt by a man who claimed to be an agent of the Ohio Boxing Commission and a guest of the arena after a "lengthy heated discussion."
The suit says city police, who were present to provide event security, took no action to protect or assist the three plaintiffs.
The suit says the plaintiffs suffered unspecified lost wages as a result of their injuries. But it does not state the relationships among the plaintiffs and the precise nature and extent of their alleged injuries, nor does it specify the nature of the dispute that brought about the altercation.
The boxing commission was a predecessor of the athletic commission, which the suit said was a sponsor of the sporting event.
In that bout, Pavlik, of Youngstown, who is now the world middleweight champion, defeated Lenord Pierre with a fourth-round TKO before more than 4,000 fans Nov. 2, 2006.
Anthony Farris, deputy city law director, declined to comment, other than to say that the suit would be referred to the city's insurance carrier.
City police had no record of any police reports concerning the incident.
Bernie Profato, executive director of the Youngstown-based OAC, declined to comment because he said he lacked sufficient information about the complaint. He said he'd refer the matter to the state attorney general's office.
Arena officials didn't respond to requests for comment.
The OAC regulates boxing, martial arts, wrestling and other contests in Ohio.
The plaintiffs and their lawyer, Robert J. Rohrbaugh II of Boardman, could not be reached to comment.