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New York Dad Told Kids to ‘Keep Your Seat Belt On’ Before Running Down Their Mother with SUV, Then Stabbing Her: Prosecutors

Stephen Giraldo (KABC-TV)

Stephen Giraldo (KABC-TV)

A New York dad is facing numerous criminal charges after allegedly admitting to intentionally running over his wife with an SUV before getting out and stabbing her — all while the couple’s three young children were in the backseat of the car.

Stephen Giraldo, 36, a bus driver for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with second-degree attempted murder, first and second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, for critically injuring his wife Sophia Giraldo, authorities announced Wednesday.

father in New York is facing numerous criminal charges after he allegedly admitted to intentionally running over his 41-year-old wife with an SUV while all three of their young children were in the backseat of the vehicle, before getting out and stabbing her with a knife, authorities announced.

“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 statement following Giraldo’s arrest. “My thoughts are with the children.”

According to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors, investigators obtained surveillance footage showing Giraldo behind the wheel of a white Ford Explorer near the intersection of Parsons Boulevard and Sanford Avenue in Queens at approximately 5:20 a.m. on Dec. 27. Stephen and Sophia’s children, ages six, nine, and 11, were all allegedly inside the Ford Explorer when Sophia can be seen walking in front of the vehicle.

“The defendant allegedly told the children to ‘keep your seat belt on’ and accelerated, barreling the car directly into the victim,” prosecutors wrote in the release. “After colliding with the victim, the car turned onto its side. The defendant allegedly crawled out the passenger side window of the vehicle and stabbed his wife with a knife.”

Prosecutors said that Giraldo stayed at the scene of the horrific attack until first responders arrived and he was taken into custody.

Sophia was transported to a New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens for medical treatment. Her injuries included “severe neurological damage, broken bones in her leg and a stab wound that punctured her liver,” according to prosecutors.

Giraldo is currently scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 12. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

Footage of the incident obtained by Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC-TV appears to show the white SUV parked and waiting outside of Sophia’s home. As soon as someone appears to walk in front of the vehicle, the car accelerates into the person so quickly that the SUV tipped onto its side.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, prosecutors at Giraldo’s arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday said that he was the person who placed the 911 call after running down and stabbing his wife.

“I think I killed my wife,” prosecutors claimed he told the emergency dispatcher.

Giraldo was also reportedly caught on police body camera footage telling an officer at the scene, “I hit my wife, arrest me.”

Additionally, prosecutors reportedly told the court that Sophia – who is currently in a vegetative state – was in critical condition and may not survive her numerous injuries.

Sophia, who court records show filed for divorce from Giraldo earlier this year, hosts “The Unfiltered and Free Podcast.” The podcast is described as consisting of “real conversations about living life after betrayal and abuse.” In the first episode of the podcast, Sophia describes finding herself “in the middle of [a] marriage filled with betrayal and abuse.”

“I’ve just been thinking about my expectation and how as a result of trauma I tend to expect the negative,” Sophia says in the most recent episode of her show. “I tend to expect the worst thing to happen, the worst-case scenario. You know, all those things. And I want my new year to look different.”

The Daily News reported that she and her children had moved into a domestic violence shelter for a time in 2019 and that she and the kids had been living alone for approximately a year and a half.

She and Giraldo were reportedly married in 2009.

The district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime.

[image via KABC screenshot]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.