The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Thursday, Jan. 31, 2002


Man charged with assault
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Accused's lawyer says no interaction between man, tot

A charge of felonious assault was filed against a Hartford man after he allegedly tried to suffocate a 3-year-old Hermitage boy in his home Jan. 20, police said.

Brian Costoff, 28, of 8466 Thompson-Sharpsville Road, was charged Jan. 22 after a Hermitage woman who was staying with him Costoff caught him trying to smother her son with a pillow at about 1 a.m., Hartford police said.

But his attorney, Marc Dann of Warren, Ohio, claimed that he and his client, who has no prior record, are trying to sort out where the charge came from.

"He and his girlfriend (the Hermitage woman) were in the process of breaking up. They had decided they weren't going to get married," Dann said. "There was no interaction between he and the child at all (at the time of the incident)."

Costoff had a preliminary hearing Monday in Trumbull County Eastern District Court in Brookfield, and the charge was bound over to the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, a court official said.

A second charge of gross sexual imposition was dismissed at the preliminary hearing for lack of evidence, Dann said. Costoff was released after posting $25,000 bond. A temporary protection order was granted, ordering Costoff to stay away from the toddler.

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