OKC Police Arrest Man Accused Of Paralyzing Ex-Roommate

Monday, August 15th 2011, 2:40 pm
By: News 9

LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City police have arrested a man they say slashed a woman's throat when she tried to force him to move out of her apartment.

Officers took 62-year-old Joseph Tunley into custody Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, police responded to what they thought was an accidental fall near N.E. 24th Street and N. Phillips Avenue. When they arrived, they found Monica Lazano had already been rushed to OU Medical Center.

When police arrived at the hospital, doctors later told them Lazano had a broken spine and could not move from the neck down. They also told investigators she had a laceration on her throat that was inconsistent with a fall.

When police went to speak with Lazano in the Intensive Care Unit, she could not speak but was able to communicate by blinking her eyes and moving her head. According to an arrest warrant, Lazano indicated to police that Tunley, her ex-roommate, became angry and assaulted her after she asked him to move out of her apartment. She said he used a knife to cut her throat.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Tunley, and he was arrested Tuesday.  He faces charges for assault and battery, and assault with a deadly weapon.