A former NYPD officer from Centereach, accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in New Jersey before jumping in front of a subway train in October, was ordered held on $5 million bail at his arraignment Thursday.
Prosecutors say Arthur Lomando stabbed his girlfriend, Suzanne Bardzell, 48, with a machete-like knife at her Midland Park home on Oct. 22. The special education teacher, who had two teenage sons, died at the scene, authorities said.
Afterward, Lomando, 44, went to Harlem where, prosecutors say, he jumped in front of a subway train. He was taken to Harlem Hospital Center, where his legs were amputated. He also had severe head injuries.
In Bergen County Court, prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer said Lomando is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and violation of a restraining order.
Hauppauge-based defense attorney Anthony LaPinta entered a plea of not guilty on Lomando’s behalf.
Lomando was in the hospital for about four weeks after the October killing before being transferred to Rikers Island and then, a week ago, the Bergen County Jail. La Pinta said Lomando has had more than a dozen surgeries and lost more than 40 pounds and he complained that his client’s medical care in the jail had not been adequate.
Lomando had originally declined to be extradited, but prosecutors sought and obtained a governor’s warrant to take him to New Jersey and face charges.
Members of Lomando’s family were not at the arraignment, but Bardzell’s friends and family were present. They declined to comment after the arraignment.
LaPinta’s partner Brendan Ahern, who is also representing Lomando, issued a statement shortly after the arraignment, saying, “The only thing that can be said about this awful tragedy is the senseless, violent manner of Ms. Bardzell’s death was clearly the product of an unsound mind.”
Members of the Midland Park police also attended the arraignment.
On Oct. 8, Midland Park police said, Bardzell got a temporary restraining order against Lomando and by the next day he had violated the order four times.
On Oct. 10 Suffolk County police attempted unsuccessfully to take Lomando into custody. At about 6 a.m. that day, a Midland Park police patrol officer noticed Lomando’s car parked near Bardzell’s home, which set off a massive search. That day, Lomando turned himself in and was released after posting $10,000 bond.
Lomando filed a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, last week seeking $50 million in damages saying his injuries were sustained “through the alleged negligence and tortuous conduct” by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
In 2004, Lomando was fired after 10 years as an NYPD officer, days before his disability retirement was to take effect, court records show.