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Woman pleads not guilty to running over man

Courier-Times Staff Report

Middletown resident Amber Austin, 42, appeared in court Friday for allegedly running over a man last week in a parking lot and leaving the scene.

Austin pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to have a jury trial Jan. 13.

According to Middletown police, a call came in around 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 of a hit and run accident at a parking lot in the 700 block of Locust St.

A witness reportedly told police Amber Austin ran over a man with her vehicle.

According to the incident report, the witness saw the victim get out of Austin’s vehicle and stumble backwards, falling down. Austin then allegedly put the vehicle in reverse, striking the victim.

Police reported finding the victim laying in a doorway on his hands and knees. According to police, the man had gravel stuck to his leg and appeared to be in pain.

The victim reportedly told police Austin had run him over with her vehicle. At that time, the man was unable to give police more information because of his pain.

Middletown police reported finding Austin at her home. According to the report, her vehicle parked outside had minor damage to the right rear section.

Austin was reportedly in her bedroom when police arrived.

“I could instantly smell a (sic) overwhelming odor of alcohol coming from her person,” the investigating officer stated in the report.

The officer described Austin as “belligerent” and “extremely uncooperative” at times. Austin also reportedly vomited in the police vehicle.

Austin denied any knowledge of the incident involving the victim getting run over, the report stated.

The Middletown officer took Austin to Henry Community Health for a blood draw. Once at the hospital, Austin “began to puke all over the hospital room.”

According to the report, the Middletown police officer then drove to St. Vincent hospital to interview the victim. The man had sustained a laceration to his left knee, a left fibula fracture, bilateral pubic fracture and a right sacral fracture after being run over.

The victim reportedly told police he and Austin had been sitting in the parking lot and that he had been drinking. He told police he did not see Austin drink, but “she appeared to be drunk to him,” the report stated.

The investigating officer returned to Henry County and was informed Austin’s blood alcohol content was allegedly 0.299.

During an interview, Austin allegedly told the officer “she chugged four bottles of red wine” after a football game. She also reportedly told the officer she had taken cold medicine before drinking.

The officer reported Austin remembered the initial interview at her home, “however Amber could not provide me with any detail of the actual accident,” the report stated.

Austin was charged with Level 3 felony leaving the scene of an accident, Level 5 felony causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle while intoxicated and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

She pleaded not guilty during an initial hearing Friday in Henry Circuit Court 2.

Austin’s jury trial is scheduled at 9 a.m. Jan. 13, 2020.