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WARREN Assault and bikini: 2 women arraigned



Published: Sat, August 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both women pleaded innocent and will be back in court later this month.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Loretta K. Banks has words for the two women who were arrested in connection with the accident that sent her daughter flying off her bicycle.

She waited for the chance to see them in person Friday but instead had to watch with her mother, Joyce Putnam, as Christin Urso and her friend Jennifer Price were arraigned by video before municipal Judge Terry Ivanchak.

The two 20-year-old women pleaded innocent to charges, including felonies, for their role in two separate accidents that injured five people Thursday within a span of minutes. Police said Urso and Price were wearing bikinis and were out of control and combative.

Girl struck: Reports state that Urso, of Washington Street, was the driver of a 1997 Chevy Cavalier that struck Banks' 14-year-old daughter, Loretta Sue, of Oregon N.W. Urso's passenger was Price, of Atlantic Street N.E.

Police said Loretta Sue was riding her bike Thursday afternoon on Logan Avenue S.E. when she was hit by a car driven by Urso, who left the scene.

The girl was taken to Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where she was treated.

Her mother and grandmother watched proceedings Thursday, saying they were disappointed they did not get to see the women in court.

They went on to say the girl is sore from the accident, suffering from cuts and bruises, and is shaken up.

Minivan hit: Ten minutes after the girl was hit, just before 5 p.m., Urso's car hit the side of a minivan, which flipped over at South Street and Main Avenue S.W. Police say Urso ran a red light while westbound on South Street.

Four people in the van were sent to the hospital and discharged later that night.

Treated at St. Joseph Health Center were the van's driver, Daniel Bland, 50, of Ridgelawn Avenue, Howland; his wife, Shirley, 48; her sister, Sandra Tucker, 57, of Palmetto, Ga.; and Tucker's husband, James, 47.

Reports say Price assaulted officer Chris O'Rourke as he tried to get her out of the car.

Price faces charges of underage drinking and one count of felony assault on a police officer.

The charges: Urso is charged with aggravated vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony; one count of felony assault on Officer Martin Mines; DUI; driving under suspension; leaving the scene of an accident; criminal damaging; underage drinking; and traffic violations.

Both women are to appear Aug. 20 before Judge Ivanchak for preliminary hearings and pretrial hearings. Cash-surety bonds were set for both -- $10,000 for Price and $20,000 for Urso.

Both were in Trumbull County Jail Friday afternoon.

Upset victim: Shirley Bland said she and her relatives were returning from Lake Erie when the crash occurred.

She said she's glad no one was seriously hurt but noted she's stunned and angry that the women caused so much trouble.




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