OAKDALE (KDKA) – The man accused of stabbing a newlywed in the elevator of a hotel came face-to-face with her in court.
Melissa Ryan came to court Monday to testify against Michael Furman. She took the stand, clutching a tissue, looked at him and told the court he’s the man who attacked her.
“She’s had a very difficult day,” Rob Peirce, of Robert Peirce and Associates, said. “You have to recall – this was the night of her honeymoon to start the honeymoon. She was viciously attacked.”
Ryan told the court when she got into the elevator at the Airport Hyatt, Furman got in behind her, saying he was having trouble with his cell phone.
But then she testified his demeanor changed. He asked who she was with.
“He held his hand at my face and said, ‘Don’t scream. You don’t want to scream,’” Ryan recalled.
“She is shaken by that. It is not the way anyone would want their marriage to begin,” Peirce said.
Ryan told the court: “I just remember I kept hitting him and hitting him and hitting him.”
He allegedly pulled her leg and wrapped it around his body and then she felt a pinch. She continued to fight until she broke free and ran away.
Furman turned himself in to authorities in Steubenville, Ohio, days later, recalling what happened at the hotel as “the incident.” He said he didn’t remember a stabbing.
Ryan’s family is looking into a civil suit against the hotel. No paperwork has been filed.
“It’s clear that inadequate security was in place,” Peirce said. “This gentleman was able to go around the hotel, was able to get in the elevator and was able to attack a patron of this hotel. This shouldn’t happen at a hotel that is literally within a two-minute walk from the airport.”
Furman is in the Allegheny County Jail being held on $100,000 cash bond.