Problems At A Reception For Accused Killer Father Gerald Robinson - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Problems At A Reception For Accused Killer Father Gerald Robinson

TOLEDO--A supporter of a priest accused of aggravated murder filed an assault complaint against a Toledo woman Monday night after a fight broke out at a gathering for that priest. Father Gerald Robinson is accused of killing a nun 24 years ago and was freed Monday as supporters posted $400,000 dollars property as bond.

Some of those supporters got together at the Scott Park Banquet Room Monday afternoon to outwardly show how they care for Fr. Robinson. Paulina Cleveland came to protest that meeting with a doll in her hand that looked like a nun.

Cleveland yelled at the supporters saying Sister Margaret Ann Pahl needed a voice and Cleveland was it. As Cleveland was leaving, Fr. Robinson supporter Rick Napierala closed a door on her. Napierala said Cleveland hit him with her doll and that's when things got out of control.

On the News 11 videotape shot at the scene, you can see Cleveland pulling at Napierala's jacket and scratching at his face trying to get her doll back. Napierala went back into the building where the fight continued and the tape shows Cleveland swinging at Napierala and then dumping a pitcher of water over his head.

Cleveland got her doll back, went to her car, and yelled more about her protest against Fr. Robinson. "For her...Sister Margaret," Cleveland screamed as she pointed to the doll. "That's for her. It's about her death...her murder," she continued.

Napierala talked to us after the fight. "She came in and deliberately interrupted...she wanted to cause a scene and that's what she did," he told us with bleeding scratches on his face, a ripped pocket from his shirt, and water that drenched that shirt.

Cleveland had more to say. "God gave me the courage and he's going to give me the strength and the wisdom," she yelled in the parking lot. "Fr. Robinson's hiding behind that uniform," she told everyone.

Napierala couldn't believe what happened. "We came here. We had a peaceful news conference. She turned it into a mockery and turned it into this. We didn't," he said.

Cleveland went on to say she's willing to go to jail for Sister Pahl. Napierala said he'll go pick up the police report he filed, take it to the prosecutor's office, and file charges of assault against Cleveland.

News 11 tried Monday night to see if Cleveland filed a counter complaint against Napierala or if she has a criminal background, but police told us their computer system was down and they couldn't check.

Posted 5/3/04 at midnight by amannes@wtol.com

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