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Hit-skip DUI driver now charged with assault

Cary Ashby • Dec 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM

A recent driving under the influence (DUI) suspect has been accused of assaulting a female acquaintance two days before she was charged with being nearly three times over the legal limit.

Heather K. Nickoli, 37, of 3 Hampton Way, was charged with assault in connection with a Nov. 23 incident. The suspected altercation happened just after 2 a.m. at the victim’s apartment.

Norwalk Assistant Law Director Scott Christophel said the 37-year-old victim spent two nights at Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

“She’s been released,” said Christophel, who declined to comment on the woman’s injuries because the case is pending.

It’s unknown what started the assault.

“They had an altercation and it turned physical at the victim’s apartment,” Christophel said. “She was taken to the hospital, (was) treated and released.”

Christophel said Nickoli and the victim are acquaintances who knew each other before the Nov. 23 incident.

Prosecutors filed the complaint Wednesday morning. Nickoli was arrested and booked into the Huron County Jail at 5:40 p.m.

Earlier, she was charged with DUI and a hit-skip violation in connection with a set of circumstances Nov. 25.

About 2:45 a.m., Nickoli was westbound on Christie Avenue. Norwalk Police Officer Jared Ferris reported Nickoli hit the left rear of a 1998 Honda CRV parked in front of 10 Christie Ave.

Police said she fled the scene, continued west and other officers saw her going north on Norwood Avenue. Police followed Nickoli to a Walnut Street residence, where they arrested her. She was released from jail the next day after posting bond.

Nickoli, who wasn’t injured, told police she was going 20 mph in the 25-mph zone.

Officers had Nickoli’s 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe and the other sport utility vehicle (SUV) towed from the scene. Christophel said police are keeping Nickoli’s SUV as evidence.

Nickoli’s breath-alcohol content level tested at .235 percent via a breath test, police said. That’s almost three times the legal limit for drivers in Ohio of .08 percent.

Christophel was asked about Nickoli’s history of DUI convictions.

“She’s had five priors — two within the last six years,” the prosecutor said.

If convicted of the DUI, Nickoli faces 60 days to one year in jail and a fine of $850 to $2,750. Her driver’s license could be suspended for a minimum of two years to as many as 10 years.

If convicted of assault, Nickoli faces up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

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