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Cops and Courts

Woman pleads guilty to striking bicyclist with vehicle

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    Lisa Harris stands with her attorney Friday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court in Elyria.

    SCOTT MAHONEY / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — A Cleveland woman pleaded guilty to attempted murder charges in connection with an incident in which state troopers said she ran over a bicyclist with her car in Eaton Township in 2017.

Lisa Harris, 30, of West 106th Street, pleaded guilty to counts of attempted murder, felonious assault and vehicular assault Friday before Judge Chris Cook.

The Ohio Highway Patrol has 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, 2017. Tousel had been riding a blue 18-speed Ultra Terrain bicycle in Eaton Estates.

Residents who lived nearby heard a loud sound and went out to investigate, finding Tousel trapped beneath 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 last year.

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 to driving on the left side of the road and acknowledged hitting Tousel’s bike with her vehicle, the warrant said.

Witnesses at the scene, though, 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.

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

A sentencing hearing for Harris was scheduled for March 15. Cook told Harris she could face a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, during Friday’s plea hearing.

On Feb. 22, Harris was sentenced to 15 months in prison by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Pamela Barker after pleading guilty to driving under the influence. She was arrested for driving under the influence Oct. 12, according to court records.

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


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