State Senator-Elect Arrested for Assault
by Jeffrey Harmatz
Dec 23, 2008 | 1730 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman and State Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate was arrested on Friday morning on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with a domestic incident.

The charges are related to the hospitalization of his alleged girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, who was admitted to Long Island Jewish Hospital with lacerations to her face that required 20 stitches.

The charges allege that Monserrate and Giraldo were arguing at around 1 a.m. early Friday morning, at which time he smashed a glass in his hand before using it to hit Giraldo in the face. Giraldo sustained a black eye and cuts above her left eye.

Monserrate then drove Giraldo to Long Island Jewish Hospital, despite the fact that his apartment in Jackson Heights is blocks away from Elmhurst Hospital. It was at Long Island Jewish that Monserrate was arrested by officers of the 105th Precinct and taken into custody.

Monserrate was released Friday on $5,000 bail and was barred from contact with Giraldo. After his release, he released a statement declaring his innocence and intention to take the State Senate seat that he won in November.

“As the result of an unfortunate accident involving myself and someone whom I care for deeply and love, I have been charged with offenses that I did not commit and am not capable of committing,” said the statement. “As a son, a brother, and a father, these accusations are offensive and they are crushing on a personal level. Nonetheless, I whole-heartedly look forward to all of the facts being brought to light during this legal process. “While I cannot comment at this time regarding how this accident occurred because I am now in the midst of the legal process,” the statement continued, “I would like to reiterate to my constituents that I have absolutely nothing to hide and all facts will become known at the appropriate time. In the meantime, I understand everyone’s concerns regarding these allegations and will answer any and all questions that I can without hindering the legal process.”

Monserrate served as an officer with the NYPD for 12 years before he was elected to the City Council in 2001. As a legislator has been an outspoken opponent of domestic dispute.

Reports have indicated that the argument may have been over Giraldo’s drug use, or that it was a simple accident in which Monserrate tripped.

In his statement, Monserrate cleared up the matter as to why he drove Giraldo to Long Island Jewish Hospital rather than to nearby Elmhurst.

“Despite Karla’s initial reticence and reluctance to go to the hospital, my sole concern was to provide her with immediate medical attention,” Monserrate said. “In her distress, she insisted that she would not go to Elmhurst Hospital. I took her to Long Island Jewish Hospital in Queens because my family has received excellent medical care there in the past.”

Councilman Monserrate’s court date is set for January 16, two weeks after he is scheduled to be sworn into the State Senate. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in jail and an immediate dismissal from the State Senate.

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