Two men arrested after water bottle assault

Police traced license plate in Lordstown bicyclist incident

LORDSTOWN — Two men were arrested this week on charges of misdemeanor assault in connection with an incident in which a cyclist was hit in the head with a water bottle thrown from a moving car.

The bottle was thrown around noon July 5 on Tod Avenue, near the Matalco plant.

The men, Damian L. Brumfield, 21, of South Leavitt Road, Warren, and Justin J. Testerman, 18, of Beaver Avenue in Niles, are being charged with assault after a police investigation revealed that village resident Todd Wells, 51, of Palmyra Road, was struck in the head by a full water bottle that was thrown from a brown early 1970s-era Chevy Chevelle.

Brumfield and Testerman are scheduled to be arraigned in Newton Falls Municipal Court on Monday, court records show.

They were released on bond.

Wells was riding his bicycle south on Tod Avenue when the water bottle was thrown out of the car, according to a police report. Although the bicyclist did not get the car’s license plate number, a semi tractor-trailer driver who saw the incident and stopped his vehicle to check on Wells told him his truck’s cameras may have recorded the car’s license plate number.

Video images were sent to Wells, according to a police report.

After Lordstown police Capt. Chris Bordonaro reviewed the video provided by the truck driver, he was able to read the historical plate on the car began with the number 5 and ended with the letters “JM.”

Lordstown police Chief Brent Milhoan contacted a representative with the Hot Rod Super Nationals, which was taking place in Canfield that week ,in an effort to identify the vehicle. They were able to identify a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle belonging to a South Leavitt Road resident, according to the police report.

Officers went to the house on Monday and spoke with Brumfield about the water bottle throwing incident. He initially denied any involvement, but eventually wrote a voluntary statement acknowledging he was driving a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle at 11:45 a.m. July 5, when his friend, Testerman, threw a Koz water bottle from the car, the report states.

Brumfield handed Testerman the water bottle to throw at the cyclist, according to the police report.

During his interview with officers, Brumfield said he knew throwing the bottle “…was stupid” and the police would show up some day, according to the police report. He also asked if the cyclist was OK.

Testerman, according to Brumfield’s written statement, yelled, “Oh (expletive), I actually hit him,” after he threw the bottle.

In a separate voluntary statement provided to police, Testerman wrote he threw the bottle from the car, stating he was surprised he hit the cyclist in the head, according to the police report. Testerman thought he might have caused the cyclist a probable concussion.

“I regret it,” he wrote on the statement.

Testerman described the driver, Brumfield, pulling closer to the cyclist before he threw the bottle.

Milhoan said Brumfield and Testerman were charged with assault because the incident could have had a more tragic ending.

“He could have been severely hurt when he crashed his bike after he was hit by the bottle,” Milhoan said. “The cyclist could have fallen onto the road and been hit by one of the vehicle that was behind him.

“People should know there could be someone watching what you are doing at any time,” Milhoan said.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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