The following are excerpts from a story published in the July 22 edition of the Sacramento Bee.

After an evening movie, Nicole Vultaggio and a female friend were strolling along the Redding River Trail about a month ago when they were ambushed by two assailants.

Vultaggio, eight months pregnant, was punched multiple times in the face and the head. The attackers choked her and knocked her to the ground, where they forcefully kicked her in the abdomen.

On Thursday, the Redding police department issued arrest warrants for two men in connection with the attack. One of them is the father of Vultaggio’s then-unborn baby, Lance Swann, and the other is his friend Jeffrey Thomas Walton – both active-duty Marines at Camp Pendleton in Orange County.

The friend whom Vultaggio, 18, was walking with that night, Erica Swann, Lance Swann’s cousin, was also arrested as an accomplice in the assault.

Redding police said Lance Swann apparently was so desperate to escape the responsibilities of fatherhood that he coordinated the attack on his ex-girlfriend.

The kicks to the abdomen forced Vultaggio to undergo an emergency C-section at the nearby Mercy Medical Center.

“My placenta broke open,” Vultaggio said Friday in an interview with the Bee. She gave birth the next morning at 5:12 a.m. to a premature baby son, Edan. He weighed 6 pounds and was 19 inches long.

“He had a small bruise on his head that the doctor said would have been from being kicked,” said Nicole Vultaggio’s father, Roger Vultaggio. But Edan was otherwise unharmed and healthy.

Nicole Vultaggio, meanwhile, had so many injuries, especially to her head, that her face was about the size of a small basketball, said her father. She suffered two swollen black eyes that took a week and a half to heal, along with bruises all over her body.

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