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THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

An 87-year-old man was charged with assault after hitting his 83-year-old wife on the head with a hammer because he didn’t want to see her suffer as she went into surgery at Elmhurst Hospital, officials said.

On March 7, at about 4:40 p.m. Manuel Besteiro went into Elmhurst Hospital to visit his wife Remedious Besteiro as she was being treated and expected to go in to surgery, according to court records.

A nurse at the hospital then witnessed the husband strike his wife over the head with a hammer numerous times, and she quickly took the hammer out of his hand.

According to the criminal complaint, the 87-year-old told investigators that he went to see his wife in the hospital, where staff told him she was going to have surgery, and because he didn’t “want to see her suffer” he hit her in the head with a hammer.

There is no prior history of violence between the couple, police said.

The victim suffered contusions and lacerations to the head and received 15 to 20 staples on the right side of her head.

Besteiro was arraigned on March 8 and has been charged with attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He was released on his own recognizance and is expected to appear again in court on April 7.

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