Austin resident sentenced to 20-year probation for assault

Published 7:26 am Friday, November 20, 2009

An Austin woman convicted of felony assault after breaking into an apartment in July was sentenced Thursday.

Nichole Marie Zankou, 26, will serve a 20-year probation, pay $708 in restitution and take mandatory anger management, among other conditions of her sentence.

The incident in question occurred July 17 around 6:45 p.m. at 2700 Third Ave. SW.

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According to a police report, Zankou, Jesus Detomas Perales, 29, and Nathan Cameron Whiteaker, 29, all of Austin, knocked on the door, and Zankou asked a 24-year-old woman where her husband was.

Perales and Zankou then dragged the 24-year-old into the hallway, where Zankou kicked her while she lay on the floor, the report states. Whiteaker stood in the hallway to block the view.

A friend of the victim attempted to call police, but Perales took her cell phone.

When police arrived, the three had left. The victim had a bloody towel on her face, a swollen eye and scratches around her neck. She was taken by ambulance, according to the report.

Police were able to track the culprits to the 1400 block of Sixth Avenue Northwest, and saw a silver van like one that had been seen leaving the scene, the report states.

Perales and Zankou both denied any involvement when questioned. Police noticed fresh cuts and scratches on Zankou’s face and told her she was under arrest.

Zankou began to fight police while being arrested, flailing her arms and scratching the police vehicle with a pair of sunglasses. She also yelled obscenities at the officers, according to the report.

Police responded with a taser, the report says.

A few people gathered around during the arrest and claimed police brutality. This included Whiteaker, who was arrested after walking up to police with a camera.

He has since been sentenced to five years probation. Perales awaits sentencing on Dec. 18.