TV Article

No. 1 with a Bullet

''Bachelor'' babe has a gun charge in her past. Hunting-averse Christina Sztanko fired a pistol near an elementary school

It only took two episodes of the current season of ''The Bachelor'' for a contestant's rap sheet to emerge. This one belongs to Christina Sztanko, the 24-year-old realtor from Palm Harbor, Fla., who became one of the 15 finalists on Wednesday's episode. Sztanko, who criticized Bachelor Andrew Firestone for his fondness for hunting -- she said she thought shooting animals for sport was terrible -- has a misdemeanor gun charge in her past. She discharged a weapon near an elementary school, according to police records unearthed by The Smoking Gun.

According to the police complaint, Sztanko was celebrating her 22nd birthday in June of 2000 with her (presumably former) boyfriend, who gave her a nickel-plated .25-caliber automatic pistol as a present. She later told arresting officers that the boyfriend was showing her how to use the gun when they fired it outside Palm Harbor's Highland Lakes Elementary School; he shot up a sign, while she fired into the grass. Charged with discharging a firearm, she was placed into a pre-trial diversion program, and her record was expunged after a year of staying out of trouble. She also had to relinquish the weapon and take a gun safety course. So if Andrew ever does take her hunting, at least she'll be prepared.

Originally posted Apr 04, 2003
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