WADSWORTH — A not-so-normal day on the job for a Wadsworth Municipal Court bailiff will be the subject of an episode of A&E Network’s “Court Cam,” a new show premiering this fall.
Sharon Ray, now in her tenth year as a Wadsworth bailiff, was recently flown to New York to discuss her experience chasing defendant Cyrus Mathews out of the courtroom in November 2017 as he fled after being sentenced to 90 days in jail for criminal damage and reckless operation.
Mathews led police on a high-speed chase that resulted in a two-vehicle crash.
“The TV crew showed the actual clip of what went on and they kind of had me narrate things,” Ray said. “You could see when I stopped them in the hall and the host asked what I said. I told him, ‘Don’t make a permanent decision based on temporary circumstances. This is going to be OK but you have to get back in there.’”
Ray attempted to negotiate with Mathews and his girlfriend, Courtney McDorman of Virginia, before the pair got into their car and fled the scene. On Interstate 76, Mathews’ vehicle collided with another carrying a Wadsworth couple and their 1-year-old child.
The family was treated for non-life-threatening injuries while Mathews and McDorman initially were trapped inside the wreckage. Both were treated for serious injuries at Akron General Hospital and released later that week.
Mathews was subsequently convicted of aggravated vehicular assault and sentenced to 420 days in jail.
“This was a young, panicked kid,” said Ray, who also served as a Medina County commissioner from 2003-2010. “He was only 19 years old and the only other thing in his background was a minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He just panicked. I saw footage on the TV show I never had before, like when the officers arrived at the scene of the crash. As the officers were approaching, you could hear (Mathews) saying, ‘I shouldn’t of done that. I shouldn’t have done that.’”
In April 2018, another man, 29-year-old Jeremy Vance of Rittman, fled the court on foot after his sentencing. He was later found near his residence.
“I wasn’t there that day but he just took off out of the courtroom and went home,” said Ray. “That one didn’t generate as much publicity because it wasn’t such an aggravated situation.”
Ray recorded the interview June 15 but said a fall air date for the episode has not been determined.