Defense gets case in CDTA bus assault trial

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The trial of two former UAlbany students accused of fabricating a story that they were the victims of a racist attack on CDTA bus continued on Monday.

The prosecution is trying to prove that Ariel Agudio and Asha Burwell are guilty of assault and making false statements to police and online. The defense seems to want to frame the bus incident around racism and sexism. On Monday, both women took the stand.

Ariel Agudio insisted she had nothing more that a half a beer all night but that she and her friends were being annoyed by a seemingly intoxicated college student who was singing loudly.

When they asked her to stop, she called them, “Ratchet Bitches.” Ratchet is known as another word for Ghetto.

Agudio said she engaged the drunken woman in a verbal altercation.

The verbal became physical when the prosecution claims Agudio struck the drunken female passenger.

Agudio claimed she was jumped by men on the bus who ripped out her hair extensions saying, “It felt like no one was trying to help us.”

During cross-examination, Assistant DA Dave Rossi pressed Agudio about the incident.

“Before your hair was being pulled out you were throwing punches,” Rossi said. Agudio said that was correct.

The women also told police they were called the “N” word.

When Asha Burwell was called to the stand her attorney Frederick Brewington asked right off the bat.

“First of all, did you hear it?”

“Yes. I did,” Burwell said.

She also claimed that the men on the bus attacked her friend.

“It was a game to rip out every piece of her hair.”

A third woman Alexis Briggs pleaded to disorderly conduct this past fall.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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