An MTA bus driver from Jamaica was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Dec. 28 and charged with attempted murder and other crimes for running down his estranged wife in front of her Flushing home and then stabbing her as their children watched the attack unfold early Tuesday, Dec. 27, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Stephen Giraldo, 36, of 144th Street, was arraigned before Judge Scott Dunn on a complaint charging him with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
At around 5:20 a.m. on Dec. 27, video surveillance footage shows Giraldo enter the driver’s seat of a white 2005 Ford Explorer parked near the intersection of Parsons Boulevard and Sanford Avenue, according to the complaint. The defendant’s three children — ages 6, 9 and 11 — were seated in the vehicle. As his estranged wife, 41-year-old Sophia Giraldo, walked in front of the vehicle, the defendant allegedly ordered the children to “keep your seat belt on” and accelerated, barreling the SUV directly into the victim. Following the collision, the vehicle flipped over onto its side. Giraldo allegedly crawled out of the passenger side window of the Explorer and stabbed the victim with a knife.
Giraldo was on the scene when police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing arrived and he was taken into custody. The children were not harmed in the collision, according to the NYPD.
EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed the victim to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital for treatment of her injuries, including severe neurological damage, broken bones in her leg, and a stab wound that punctured her liver, according to the criminal complaint. She remains in critical condition.
”The brutality of the attack, and the fact that it was committed in full view of the victim’s three young children, stirs heartbreak and outrage in all of us,” Katz said. “My thoughts are with the children.”
Judge Dunn remanded the defendant and ordered him to return to court on Jan. 12. If convicted, Giraldo faces up to 25 years in prison.
Sources familiar with the case say the couple has a troubled history rife with apparent domestic abuse and that Sophia recently filed for divorce from her husband.
Meanwhile, the MTA said Giraldo has been suspended without pay, pending the results of the investigation.