Four face charges in Donora assaults

March 7, 2013

DONORA – Three Donora residents have been arrested and a warrant has been issued for a fourth suspect in connection with assaults early Monday on a brother and sister that began at a local tavern and continued at their residence.

Police on Thursday arrested Tierra S. Ward, 21, of 493 Sixth St., on charges of simple assault over accusations she pushed and struck Tierra Lipscomb about 2 a.m. at Ray’s Place, 864 Meldon Ave., court records show. Another suspect, Nathaniel Blackman, 23, of 109 Second St., is free on $10,000 bond, charged with simple assault and harassment over allegations he struck and pushed Lipscomb to the floor during the bar fight, the record shows.

Lipscomb’s brother, James, pulled Ward off his sister, and they went to the Donora police station seeking an escort home because they were afraid, police stated in an affidavit. Police complied and returned to the station after the brother and sister went inside their residence.

About a half-hour later, Tierra Lipscomb returned to the police station wearing one sock and no shoes, screaming that two attackers had knocked out her brother and “pulled a gun on him.” At the same time, police received a report from Washington 911 about “yelling and screaming” outside 864 Meldon Ave.

Police found James Lipscomb there on the sidewalk with two large lumps on his head. Police were told two of Blackman’s associates, John W. Duchi Jr. and Taraja Ward, had assaulted James Lipscomb, the record indicates.

Duchi, 24, of 839 Meldon Ave., is accused of placing a black handgun to James Lipscomb’s head and threatening to shoot him, while Taraja Ward faces allegations he repeatedly struck the victim’s head against the sidewalk. James Lipscomb was treated for his injuries at Mon Valley Hospital, police said.

Duchi was placed in the Washington County jail on a parole detainer and later arraigned on charges of possession with intent to deliver five bags of marijuana, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault, making terroristic threats and harassment, court records show. He was jailed on $50,000 bond set by District Judge Mark Wilson. Tierra Ward was being held on $5,000 bond set by Wilson.

Wilson has signed a warrant for the arrest of Taraja Ward, 24, also of Donora, on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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