Unser Charged With Battery
July 9, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
According to the Associated Press, Marion County Sherrif’s deputies arrested Unser at his motor home on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield after a woman accused the 40-year-old Indy Racing League driver of hitting her and leaving her on the side of an interstate highway.
Unser was released from the Marion County jail after posting a $30,000 bond. He left the jail house by exiting through a neighboring building, avoiding reporters.
Unser will return to court Wednesday for a hearing, sheriff's Maj. Vincent Cascella said.
Police reported finding Jena L. Soto standing next to a guardrail on Interstate 465 at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Soto told police she was Unser's girlfriend of four years.
The 38-year-old Soto, of Albuquerque, N.M., told police she and Unser had been at a strip club and that she was driving because Unser was intoxicated. She said she and Unser were arguing, and that he repeatedly shifted the gears into neutral and reverse. She said she then hit Unser in an attempt to make him stop and he responded by hitting her in the face.
Soto told police she pulled to the side of the highway, got out of the vehicle, and that Unser then drove away.
Unser first denied knowing Soto, according to a police report. After being told of her allegations, officers said Unser told them Soto had hit him first.
Unser, the winner of the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1994, is divorced.
According to Unser’s IRL team spokesperson, Nancy Miller, Unser was scheduled to play in a charity golf tournament Thursday at the speedway's course and then drive Saturday in an IROC race at Chicagoland Speedway.