Trumbull horn-honking case shifts venues

Hubbard woman files harassment claims against five in Mahoning court

YOUNGSTOWN — Lucinda Krlich of East Liberty Street in Hubbard has filed a civil suit in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court over horn honking and other vehicle-related activities she says five defendants have carried out in a “terrorizing, harassing and bullying manner” near her home.

The complaints are similar to ones her husband, Garrick Krlich, and she have filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court since 2012.

The new lawsuit names as defendants Nicholas Buzin of Larkridge Avenue, Youngstown; James Murphy of Melbourne Avenue, Youngstown; Robert Powell of Pothour Wheeler Road, Hubbard; Sean Stamateris of Hubbard Bedford Road, Hubbard; and Cody DiBell of Perkinswood Boulevard SE, Warren, as defendants.

When contacted by phone Monday, Murphy said he has “no idea why she’s doing this. I think it’s ludicrous. I have no comment.”

DiBell said he has to drive past the Krlichs’ house five days per week to pick up his son, and he’s not going to drive miles out of his way to avoid their house, saying the Krlichs target him and his friends because of the kind of trucks they drive.

“If you go by the house and blink your eyes the wrong way, they have it on video,” he said. “We’ve been going through this multiple times.”

The three other defendants could not be reached Monday by telephone to comment.

The suit says Mahoning County Common Pleas Court is the proper venue for the suit because Buzin and Murphy live in Mahoning County.

The suit alleges that since 2015, “one or more of the defendants has knowingly revved his / their vehicles’ engines, screeched their tires, and / or honked their car horns in a continual, intolerable, terrorizing, harassing and bullying manner when driving past (Krlich’s) home.”

The suit states that Buzin revved his truck’s engine when driving past the home at 2:42 a.m. July 30, 2017; 3:20 a.m. Aug. 12, 2018; 2:48 a.m. May 3, 2019; 10:34 p.m. June 21, 2019; and 5:32 p.m. July 9, 2019.

Murphy is accused of revving his truck’s engine while driving past the home three times from April 2017 to May 2018. DiBell revved his truck’s engine while driving past the home seven times at various times between February 2019 and October 2019, the lawsuit states.

Stamateris is alleged to have revved his truck’s engine while driving past the house six times from March 2019 to December 2019; and Powell is alleged to have revved his truck’s engine seven times while driving past the home from April 2018 to August 2018.

Judge Ronald Rice of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court ruled in July 2017 that Garrick Krlich “has habitually, persistently and without reasonable grounds engaged in vexatious conduct” in filing lawsuits in the long-standing conflict.

That ruling means Garrick Klich now is deemed a “vexatious litigator,” and he must obtain permission in advance from any common pleas, municipal or county court before filing additional civil suits. The designation did not apply to Lucinda Krlich, who hired two Cleveland attorneys — Kyle Baird and Caryn Groedel — to represent her.

She and her husband have employed several local attorneys to represent them in their legal battles in Trumbull County over the years.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Court documents indicate that Rice on July 22, 2019, ruled that Powell on multiple occasions had violated the terms of the civil stalking protection order approved in 2014 on behalf of the Krlichs against Powell.

Rice ordered Powell was in contempt of court and ordered that Powell not come within 500 feet of the Krlich’s home and fined Powell $250. Powell’s violations were revving his vehicle’s engine about 275 feet from the Krlich’s home four days in a row in late July 2019, Krlich alleged in a January 2020 filing.

The defendants’ actions have caused Lucinda Krlich to lose sleep, suffer headaches and depressions and fear being in her home and fear leaving her home, the suit states.

“As a result of the defendants’ actions, (Lucinda Krlich) has suffered a severe mental condition for which she has been receiving psychological treatment from a trained psychologist for several years,” the suit states.

The suit seeks at least $25,000 in damages from the defendants, at least $25,000 more for acting as a group and $25,000 for mental anguish and physical harm.


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