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Woman Denies Attacking Miss West Virginia After Crash

November 9, 1989

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) _ A woman who accused Miss West Virginia of pulling a gun on her after a traffic accident denied running the pageant winner off a road and beating her head against the pavement during their fracas.

″I didn’t do either of those things,″ said Tammy Boyce, 23, of Fairmont, who was charged with reckless driving, battery and destruction of property after the altercation Tuesday morning with Lisa Bittinger, 21.

Bittinger filed a criminal complaint alleging that Boyce kicked out a window on her car, grabbed her by the hair and beat her head against the pavement while screaming obscenities at her after Bittinger’s car ran into a telephone pole.

″I admit I pulled her hair and kicked the window out of her car, but I didn’t do any of the other things she said I did,″ Boyce said in an interview Wednesday.

Boyce filed a complaint saying Bittinger pulled a gun on her during the altercation. Police arrested Bittinger and charged her with brandishing a deadly weapon.

Both women were arraigned on the misdemeanor charges Tuesday night. Bittinger was freed on a $200 personal recognizance bond and Boyce set free on a $350 personal recognizance bond, said Peggy Twyman, the Marion County magistrate.

No hearing date has been set.

Bittinger faces up to six months in jail and a $200 fine if convicted on the weapon charge.

Several telephone calls to Bittinger’s residence Wednesday were answered by a machine. She had not returned the calls by late Wednesday.

Jodi Bice, Bittinger’s traveling companion and business manager, said Bittinger told her she didn’t have a weapon.

″She said there was no gun and I’ve never known her to have one,″ Bice said.

In her written complaint, Bittinger said her car hit a pole after Boyce ran her car off the road. Bittinger told police that Boyce had been following her.

Bittinger alleged that Boyce came to her car, reached inside her sunroof and grabbed her hair. Bittinger said she pulled free and locked her doors, then Boyce kicked out her window while screaming obscenities and tried to pull her out of the car by her hair.

″I unlocked the door and got out,″ Bittinger’s complaint said. ″She threw me on the ground and beat my head on the pavement by holding my hair.

″A witness pulled her off of me. She continued to laugh as she got into the car and drove off.″

Boyce’s complaint alleged that Bittinger pulled a gun on her while Bittinger was in her car.

Boyce said the two had confronted each other before, and that the latest incident happened after both had left a Fairmont bar about the same time early Tuesday.

Boyce also said that Bittinger had dated one of her former boyfriends, but denied a published report that that had figured into the altercation.

″I’ve never gotten along with her. It’s like every time I see her she gives me dirty looks,″ Boyce said.

Jack Leeson, executive director of the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Pageant, said no decision would be made on whether Bittinger could lose her title until the court cases are settled.

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