Astronaut charged with kidnap attempt
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida prosecutors charged an astronaut Friday with trying to kidnap a romantic rival, but they declined to file an attempted murder charge recommended by police.
Lisa Nowak, 43, was formally charged almost a month after she was arrested at an Orlando airport parking lot.
Police have said the Houston mother of three had raced 900 miles in her car from Texas to Orlando on Feb. 5 to confront a woman she saw as a rival for another astronaut’s affections. She donned a wig and trench coat, then sprayed a chemical into the woman’s car when she wouldn’t let Nowak in, police said.
In addition to attempted kidnapping to intent to inflict bodily harm, state prosecutors charged Nowak on Friday with burglary with a weapon and battery.
A spokesman for Nowak’s attorney declined to comment because he hadn’t seen the charges. Nowak is free on bond with an ankle tracking device.
Nowak believed Colleen Shipman was romantically involved with Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein, a pilot during space shuttle Discovery’s trip to the space station last December, according to police. After the confrontation, Shipman drove to a parking lot booth for help.
Nowak had been a top astronaut who flew on Discovery last summer and won praise for operating the shuttle’s robotic arm. NASA relieved her of all mission duties after her arrest.