State Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate issued a statement after being arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend with a broken glass—requiring her to get 20 stitches for a gash above her left eye (she also had a black eye). Monserrate, who is a former police officer and an outgoing City Councilman, said the whole thing was a "terribly unfortunate accident" with girlfriend Karla Giraldo.
The statement also read, "As a result of an unfortunate accident in which I was involved and which involved also someone to love and I care deeply, I am accused of crimes they did not commit and that I am incapable of committing... As a son, a brother and a father, these accusations are offensive, and they are crushing on a personal level." Monserrate claimed the accident occurred when "I brought her a glass of water, I leaned over and tripped."
However, prosecutors said that the couple had been arguing and that Monserrate allegedly broke the glass and hit Giraldo in the face with it. As for why Giraldo was taken to Long Island Jewish Hospital instead of Elmhurt Hospital, which is much closer to Monserrate's apartment, where the incident occurred, that's explained too: "I took her to Long Island Jewish Hospital in Queens because my family has received excellent medical care there in the past."
The NY Times reports that the Queens DA's case is "complicated by the fact that Ms. Giraldo, 30, is now saying that it was an accident and, according to a law enforcement source, is not cooperating with prosecutors." Giraldo's cousin Jasmina Abril de Rojas told the NY Post, "She told me everything was an accident. He's innocent of the charges because, as a human being, he is not an aggressive person. He's always been a nice person, willing to help anyone... From what I understand, Senator Monserrate didn't hit my cousin or even threaten her."
Monserrate, a Democrat who was elected to the State Senate this past November, still intends to head to Albany. However, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer told the Daily News, "Mr. Monserrate should immediately recuse himself from any role in his remaining days on the City Council, and for any matters in the state Senate, pending his resolution of these incredibly serious charges."