With 2019 less than two hours old, a 23-year-old man allegedly went on a New Year’s Day rampage in Hartford when he stabbed his girlfriend dozens of times and then fled, winding up in New York City, where he was arrested early Wednesday, according to Hartford police.
Edgar Manuel Maldonado also stands accused of kidnapping his victim’s 6-year-old son, who may have witnessed the brutal attack and was found later Tuesday morning wandering alone in Worcester, Lieutenant Paul C. Cicero of the Hartford Police Department Major Crimes Division said in a news conference Wednesday.
It isn’t yet clear whether Maldonado or someone else drove the child to Massachusetts, Cicero said. He did not say whether Maldonado had hired a lawyer.
Maldonado allegedly stabbed his girlfriend, who has not been identified, more than 30 times in a “serious domestic violent altercation inside her vehicle” while her son was present, Cicero said. “Hopefully the child was sleeping when this assault occurred,” he said.
Hartford police received several 911 calls early Tuesday reporting a woman “covered in blood, yelling and banging on doors in the area of 77 Natick St.,” he said. Hartford police, fire and EMS went to Natick Street and found a 43-year-old Hartford woman “suffering from many stab wounds about her body,” Cicero said.
“My understanding from the patrol officers is a lot of the injuries were defensive wounds to the hands and arms, but she did suffer some critical injuries to her body, her torso,” Cicero said. “So she’s still in critical condition at this time, but she has been stabilized.”
It is unclear why the attack took place on Natick Street or how it began. Officers “tried to obtain as much information from her as possible at the scene,” Cicero said of the victim. “Obviously our concern was her safety . . . getting her to the hospital, as well as locating her child.”
Around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Worcester police received a call about a wandering child in the area of Providence Street, Cicero said. Worcester officers found the boy and the woman’s car, which contained “a bladed weapon . . . located in plain view inside the vehicle,” but not Maldonado, he said. It is unclear how long the child was left unattended.
The boy was taken to an “undisclosed location with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families,” Cicero said. The Massachusetts DCF has coordinated with its counterpart in Connecticut for the child to be returned safely to relatives there, the agency said Wednesday.
A $500,000 warrant for Maldonado was issued Tuesday on charges of kidnapping in the second degree, attempted murder, first-degree assault, and risk of injury to a minor, Cicero said.
A cooperating witness who knows Maldonado told Hartford police Maldonado had traveled to New York, Cicero said, and New York police were alerted to be on the lookout for him.
Maldonado was apprehended at 5:20 a.m. Wednesday in midtown Manhattan, “outside of 1166 6th Avenue. He is currently being held at Midtown North Precinct,” the New York Police Department said in a brief statement.
He was taken in “safely and without incident” and is awaiting extradition, Cicero said. If he waives extradition, Cicero said, “our fugitive team will go to New York and bring him back to Hartford.”
Maldonado has previously been arrested several times over a period of years on allegations of domestic violence, Cicero said, but he does not appear to have previously been reported to Hartford police for violence against the victim of this attack.
“This relationship, from my understanding, was a recent relationship,” Cicero said.Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox. Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.