A New York woman who works with abuse victims after having gone through her own toxic marriage was seriously injured after her estranged husband mowed her down in front of their three children, officials allege.
Sophia Giraldo, 41, is hospitalized at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens after she was struck by an SUV Tuesday. A criminal complaint alleges that her husband, Stephen Giraldo, hit her with his vehicle and then stabbed her.
Their three young boys, ages 11, 9, and 6, were in the SUV but were not injured.
The complaint says the 11-year-old told authorities that he saw his mother walking on the sidewalk in front of the SUV. Stephen Giraldo made a comment along the lines of "keep your seatbelt on" before he drove the vehicle into his wife, the boy said, according to the complaint.
Police told NBC New York that Stephen Giraldo was alleged to have waited in the vehicle outside Sophia Giraldo's apartment building in Flushing.
Security video obtained by NBC New York captured the horrifying incident, showing Sophia Giraldo leaving her building around 5:15 a.m. The SUV accelerated into her with such force that it flipped over onto its side, the video showed.
The video does not show what happened next. The criminal complaint alleges that Stephen Giraldo crawled out of the passenger side window after the crash and stabbed Sophia Giraldo. Police found a bloodied knife near her body, the complaint says.
The woman suffered brain damage, broken bones in her leg and a stab wound that punctured her liver. Police said she was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Stephen Giraldo was arraigned Wednesday on charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. It was not clear whether he has obtained an attorney.
"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," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a news release Wednesday. "My thoughts are with the children."
Sophia Giraldo ran a business where she helped women who went through periods of abuse or trauma, according to her website. She also hosted "The Unfiltered and Free Podcast with Sophia Giraldo."