Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Coming out of her shell

Don't "eff" with the turtle!

Woman, 64, Accused Of Assaulting Man, 72, With Car
Stamford Police Say Bizarre Incident Of "Parking Lot Rage" Stemmed From Alleged Abuse Of Decorative Turtle

by Tony Aiello

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBS) ― Walking out of Superior Court on Tuesday, 64-year-old Heather Harris didn't look dangerous.

But behind the wheel of a car on Monday, she allegedly tried to run over her ex-boyfriend. "It appears to us that she intentionally hit him with the car," Stamford Police Lt. Sean Cooney said.

David Gorn, 72, was leaving a diner Monday night when Harris allegedly confronted him and accused him of abusing a turtle.

Police later said it was a decorative item -- a porcelain turtle if you will that she claims was damaged.

But Harris' lawyer said it was an actual pet turtle.

"It was a living, breathing turtle," Stephen Seeger said.

Whatever the case, after the argument, cops said Harris grabbed his keys and took off in her car. Harris drove right next door to an adjacent parking lot and Gorn followed desperate to get his car keys back.

Cops said that's when she assaulted him with her Honda Accord, allegedly striking Gorn once, waiting for him to get up, and then hitting him again.

"A witness told us that when he was struck the second time he appeared to roll onto the hood of the car and held onto the hood of the car until he fell off," Lt. Cooney said.

Harris then drove to a townhouse complex, where cops picked her up a short time later.

"There were like seven police cars, they were all in the front yard looking for someone," neighbor Albert Escoffery said.

Escoffery said he took it in stride when he learned a dispute over a turtle allegedly led to an assault with a car.

"In this day and age it doesn't surprise me. If that's what happened and that's what caused her to freak out over that I'm not surprised," Escoffery said.

Harris' lawyer said she's ready to fight the assault charges.

"There's two sides to every story and she looks forward to telling her side," Seeger said.

Harris left court under orders not to contact the ex-boyfriend, who is recovering with a head injury.

No word on the condition of the turtle.

Stamford Police said Gorn was treated at a hospital and released Tuesday morning.