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Cops and Courts

Troopers seek cell phone information in vehicular assault

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    An Ohio Higheay Patrol crash investigator photographs the damage on the front of a vehicle that struck a bike and rider on Melody Lane in Eaton Estates.



ELYRIA — State troopers believe a Cleveland woman facing attempted murder charges for allegedly running over a man with her car had communicated with the victim and had planned to meet with him.

Lisa Harris, 29, was indicted on one count of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault and a count of vehicular assault in January.

Ohio Highway Patrol troopers said Harris ran over 21-year-old Rhett Tousel, who was riding a bicycle, with her 2002 Ford Taurus about 2:46 p.m. Nov. 22. Tousel had been riding a blue 18-speed Ultra Terrain bicycle near Eaton Estates in Eaton Township.

Residents who lived nearby heard a loud sound and went out to investigate, finding Tousel trapped underneath the Taurus. When paramedics arrived, they had to lift the vehicle off Tousel, according to a search warrant filed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court this week.

Harris told troopers that she was trying to find her way out of Eaton Estates development by calling a friend when she struck Tousel with the car. She also admitted driving on the left side of the road and acknowledged hitting Tousel’s bike with her vehicle, according to the warrant.

Witnesses at the scene, however, said they heard Harris say she had been robbed by Tousel just prior to the incident and was upset. After an investigation, troopers believe Harris and Tousel knew each other, the warrant said.

Harris was given a field sobriety test at the scene, which she failed, the warrant said. Troopers had previously said they believed drugs had played a part in the incident.

Troopers seized cell phones from Harris and Tousel at the scene of the incident and have possession of the phones. The warrant requests account holder information, call records, text messages, real-time technology data, deleted data, cell tower information, location services and other information from the phones.

“Your Affiant has reason to believe that cell phone records for the Tousel’s phone will provide information regarding his communications with Harris,” the warrant said. “This information would provide additional information on the purpose of the parties meeting in the Grafton area.”

Troopers also believe the phone records will provide additional information at to the meeting location and times of arrival.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will has said the incident was recorded on a home surveillance video, and it is believed to have been an intentional act, which is why Harris has been indicted on attempted murder charges.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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