City woman faces charges in assault with hammer

Police allege Turiano struck boyfriend’s left ear during incident

From Mirror staff reports

A city woman faces charges after Altoona police say she beat open a locked door with a hammer before using it on her boyfriend’s ear.

According to Altoona police, Michelle L. Turiano, 43, allegedly grabbed a claw hammer after her boyfriend locked the door to his bedroom during an argument early Tuesday morning at the couple’s home, 206 Spruce Ave.

Police said Turiano repeatedly struck the door with the hammer while yelling for her boyfriend to open the door.

After five to 10 minutes, the slide lock on the door broke and Turiano was able to get in the room.

Once inside the bedroom, Turiano swung the hammer and struck her boyfriend’s left ear as he was putting some clothes in a chest of drawers, police allege.

“The victim then fell to his knees and yelled that he was calling the police,” Altoona police Patrolman Joseph Detwiler noted in the charges.

Turiano allegedly ran downstairs, unplugged the home’s phone system and hid it. The boyfriend told police he stayed in his bedroom all night while Turiano slept on the couch.

In the morning, the man found the phone system near the couch, and after Turiano left for work just before 11 a.m., he called 911.

Police said the man had dried blood inside his ear when officers responded Tuesday and said he was going to UPMC Altoona for treatment after complaining of some minor hearing issues in his left ear.

Police said the bedroom door, which was destroyed, appeared to have 30 to 50 hammer marks and the door lock was broken and pulled off the door.

Turiano was arraigned late Tuesday afternoon on a felony charge of aggravated assault as well as misdemeanor counts of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. She was released on an unsecured $15,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Central Court on July 3 for a preliminary hearing on the charges.