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Glenshaw bride, groom face more charges in brawl

| Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Glenshaw bride and groom accused of fighting with members of another wedding party staying at their hotel are now facing more serious charges.

David Wielechowski, 32, and Christa Wielechowski, 25, were initially charged with simple assault and related counts following the April 27 brawl. Police allege that David Wielechowski kicked his wife, then the couple fought members of another wedding party who tried to help her. The Wielechowskis have said they were joking but had to defend themselves when attacked.

On Friday, Ross police charged David Wielechowski with two counts of aggravated assault and his wife with one count of aggravated assault. Both were also charged with criminal conspiracy and several additional simple assault counts.

Police cited injuries to two men who tried to intervene. One man was kicked in the groin and will likely need surgery and the other is scheduled to have surgery to repair a thumb ligament, according to the criminal complaint.

Attorneys for the Wielechowskis disputed the accounts of the incident by police and witnesses and maintained that their clients were victims rather than aggressors. They suggested that the new charges were filed because the Wielechowskis told their side in a television interview.

"One might wonder why the charges were not filed in the original complaint when the original statements from the witnesses were more fresh in their respective minds," Christa Wielechowski's attorney, Michael Worgul, said in a statement.

Sgt. William Barrett described the night as "quite a melee" and said it took time to sort things out and determine the severity of injuries. But it was clear early on that further charges would be forthcoming, he said.

In the interview, Christa Wielechowski said the fight began in the hallway outside their hotel room after both she and her husband had been drinking. She said her husband lightly tapped her rear with his foot as a joke after she told him he could kiss her there, but she tripped on her wedding gown and fell.

Other hotel guests rushed over to help and she told them she was fine, but an exchange of profanities followed and a man punched her husband in the face, Christa Wielechowski said. An extended brawl ensued with kicking, biting, choking and stomping, ending in the hotel lobby, she said.

Police talked to witnesses unrelated to either wedding party, Barrett said.

"No one has even remotely corroborated what Mr. and Mrs. Wielechowski said in their version of events" in the TV interview, he said.

The Wielechowskis, who were legally married a month earlier and had repeated their vows hours before the fight, spent the night in separate jail cells, the bride still in her gown.

David Wielechowski's attorney, Robert Mielnicki, questioned why in the new charges, Christa Wielechowski is no longer a victim. "If the police believe these witnesses, all of them, then my client's wife was violently kicked by Dr. Wielechowski. Why is she no longer a victim?" he asked.

Barrett said Christa Wielechowski remains a victim under the first set of charges, though he expects her to be uncooperative.

The Wielechowskis remain free on bond and face a May 28 preliminary hearing.

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