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Cops and Courts

Judge denies partial motion to dismiss Gibson's lawsuit against Oberlin College


ELYRIA — A judge denied a motion by Oberlin College to throw out part of the lawsuit filed against it by Gibson’s Bakery.

Judge John Miraldi denied a partial motion to dismiss Gibson’s complaints Friday, according to court documents.

The college had asked the court to dismiss two counts of the lawsuit — the alleged negligent hiring of Meredith Raimondo, vice president and dean of student and trespassing.

Gibson’s filed the lawsuit against Oberlin College and Raimondo in November for libel, slander, interference with business relationships, interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and trespass.

The rift between the bakery and the college began in 2016 when a student, Jonathan Aladin, tried to buy alcohol with a fake ID from Allyn Gibson, the son of the bakery’s owner, David Gibson, while concealing bottles, too.

The police report said Allyn Gibson told Aladin he was calling the police and not to leave. Gibson said he then took his phone to take a photo of Aladin and Aladin slapped the phone from his hand and the device hit Gibson in the face. Police have said Aladin then ran from the store, dropping the two bottles of wine to the floor.

Gibson chased after Aladin, and the two men got into a physical confrontation outside. When police arrived, they reported seeing Allyn Gibson on the ground with Aladin and two other students charged, Endia Lawrence and Cecelia Whettstone, hitting him.

The incident became racially charged because Gibson is white and the students are black. All three students pleaded guilty in August to misdemeanor charges and read statements into the record acknowledging that Gibson was within his right to detain the shoplifter and that his actions were not racially motivated.

Immediately after the incident between Gibson and Aladin, Lawrence and Whettstone, students from Oberlin College protested in front of the bakery claiming it was a racist institution. In the lawsuit, Gibson’s claims the actions of the college and Raimondo during that time have caused the bakery to struggle to survive.

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