The estranged wife of former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato swore at him and said she’d divorce him and take their children before police forced her to go to a hospital following her 911 call in September, a sergeant testified Tuesday.
Nassau County police Sgt. James Lorenzen said he decided Katuria D’Amato, 51, was a danger to herself and others after law enforcement officials answered her Sept. 30 call from the couple’s former marital home in Lido Beach.
The sergeant said the woman was having “delusions,” and saying the former senator was shooting laser beams through her head and “had people to get her” who had been trying to break into the house.
“You don’t understand, he has so much power,” Lorenzen said Katuria D’Amato told him, before showing police home surveillance video that she said displayed the lasers.
“It was bizarre,” Lorenzen said, adding there were no lasers.
The law enforcement official testified in Nassau County matrimonial court in Mineola as a judge considers whether Alfonse D’Amato, 80, now a lobbyist, should keep temporary custody of the couple’s two young children as the D’Amatos go through divorce proceedings.
State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Lorintz in October gave Alfonse D’Amato custody of the children, later granting their mother regular visits. The judge ruled after the ex-senator questioned his spouse’s mental health status following the police response.
Katuria D’Amato’s attorney has said Alfonse D’Amato sought the custody award and an order of protection in retaliation for her Oct. 3 divorce filing.
The woman told police she hid in a closet of the home and unsuccessfully tried to load a shotgun before calling 911 to report intruders, according to police testimony. It also showed Katuria D’Amato told police she’d been unable to load her 20-gauge shotgun because she couldn’t find a key to its gun lock.
Police officials have testified they confiscated the gun, finding it locked with a cable and inoperable, in a box in a closet that also had a few shotgun rounds and keys.
Lorenzen said in court Tuesday the ex-senator didn’t want Katuria D’Amato to go to a hospital involuntarily and was visibly upset and teary-eyed when the sergeant told him police were going to force her to go.
“Please don’t take her . . . She’s going to divorce me if you take her,” the sergeant said Alfonse D’Amato told him before Katuria D’Amato’s angry outburst at her estranged husband while leaving the house for a waiting ambulance.
Lorenzen said he also advised the former senator “to seek legal advice” and to go to Family Court, because he believed Alfonse D’Amato — who said he didn’t know his estranged wife had a shotgun — and the couple’s children needed protection.
“If she had the key and could load that weapon, something disastrous could have happened,” the sergeant told Stephen Gassman, Alfonse D’Amato’s lawyer, from the witness stand.
Lorenzen later told Katuria D’Amato’s attorney, Joseph De Simone, during a cross-examination that will continue Wednesday, that the woman never expressed suicidal thoughts or said she wanted to harm anyone.