Woman who assaulted OSHP Trooper deemed competent to stand trial

The woman accused of assaulting an Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer is one step closer to knowing if she will stand trial or be found not guilty by reason of insanity. She is facing felony charges of assault on an officer.

At a pre-trial conference held in the Morrow County Common Pleas courtroom of Judge Robert Hickson on Tuesday, evidence was submitted to the court on the mental status of 26 year old Antoinette Taylor.

The violent attack on an Ohio State Trooper was caught on camera as it happened on a Greyhound bus the evening of March 9, 2015.

The bus was bound for Columbus from Cleveland when the driver became concerned about Taylor’s behavior and pulled over on I-71 in Morrow County and called authorities.

A State Trooper Tressa Winans responded to escort Taylor from the bus and, without warning, found herself under attack.

Video taken on a cell phone by a passenger shows the trooper on the stairs and Taylor walking towards the front of the bus from the center aisle towards the officer.

The trooper is calm in asking her requests of the accused when suddenly Taylor punches the trooper in the face, and a struggle ensued with the struggle continuing with the pair falling out of the bus. The trooper landed on her back alongside the guard rail, with the passenger on top of her, pummeling her.

Roughly 30 seconds pass before anyone comes to the trooper’s aid.

“Help her!” yells a female passenger. “What the __ is y’all doin’? Help her!”

Two men, the driver and a passenger, step in to assist, but Taylor still had the trooper by her hair.

The trooper received a blow to the face while trying to reach her handcuffs.

Once she was able to cuff her, the trooper was finally able to radio for help.

Minutes later, a Morrow County Deputy arrived to assist, giving the trooper her first opportunity to separate from her attacker.

OHP says Trooper Tressa Winans suffered bruises and abrasions. Both she and Taylor were treated and released from the hospital.

Taylor, who lives in Cuyahoga County, is currently being held at a mental health facility and is undergoing mental health assessment.

The accused was not required to appear at the proceedings but was represented by her attorney Rolf Whitney.

Evidence was submitted to the court June 16 which determined she was currently competent and able to assist in her defense.

The next pre-trial conference will consider if she was insane at the time of the attack. That hearing is scheduled for Monday, July 20, at 11:30 am.

Reach Donna Carver at 419-946-3010, ext. 1804 or on twitter @MorrCoSentinel.

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