A former NYPD officer accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in New Jersey before jumping in front of a subway in October was arraigned Thursday morning and ordered held on $5 million bail.
Prosecutors say Arthur Lomando, of Centereach, 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.
After stabbing Bardzell, 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.
On Thursday, prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer told the court Lomando is charged with first degree murder, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and a violation of a restraining order.
Hauppauge-based defense attorney Anthony LaPinta entered a plea of not guilty on Lomando’s behalf. LaPinta told the court his client was not getting proper medical care at the Bergen County Jail where he has been held for about a week.
Members of Lomando’s family were not at the arraignment but Bardzell’s friends and family were present. They stared at Lomando as he was wheeled in wearing an orange jumpsuit.
When his lack of medical care was pointed out, one woman in the group smirked and rolled her eyes. Members of Bardzell’s family declined to comment and quickly left the courthouse after the arraignment.
On Oct. 8, Midland 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. Midland police said Lomando then called them early that morning to tell them the charges were false.
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.
LaPinta said he is not Lomando’s attorney on that case.
In 2004, Lomando was fired after 10 years as an NYPD officer, days before his disability retirement was to take effect, court records show.
He claimed he suffered from depression, but officials found he made false and misleading statements to his commanding officer during an official departmental investigation, court records show. He filed a lawsuit in 2014 seeking to be reinstated but lost.