NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect has been charged in connection with a stabbing that left a Staten Island man dead and his wife badly injured, police said.
Peter Gialluisi, 67, and his wife, Vincenza, encountered a burglar when they returned to their home at 80 Venus Place in Huguenot shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, police said.
The intruder stabbed Peter Gialluisi, a stroke victim who used a walker to get around, and his wife multiple times with a kitchen knife, police said.
“He couldn’t even go up the steps,” neighbor Teresa Parenti told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello of Peter Gialluisi. “He was on oxygen. He couldn’t breathe well. He had a lot of health issues.”
Peter Gialluisi was stabbed in the face and hand. He died later at Staten Island University Hospital South.
Vincenza Gialluisi, 66, suffered many cuts fighting back until the attacker fled. She is hospitalized in stable condition.
Police said the burglar gained access by breaking a rear window.
Dante Viggiano, 20, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and false personation, police announced Monday night.
Crime scene technicians in white suits were seen Monday at the Fresh Kills apartment Viggiano shares with his widowed mother and younger brother, about four miles from the murder scene, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.
The suspect’s family turned him in to police, Young reported. The man is hospitalized with cuts to his hands and arms.
Police sources told CBS 2 that Vincenza Gialluisi identified Viggiano in a photo lineup as the attacker.
“I think she’s courageous because it seems like she fought him off,” Parenti said. “Because from what I understand, he had some stab wounds. So she’s very courageous. She’s a strong woman, obviously mentally and physically.”
Viggiano has several arrests on his record, including a burglary charge just a few weeks ago, CBS 2 reported.
Neighbors say he has a history of mental problems, but he had never been violent before.
A friend was seen Monday comforting Lynn Harkness, the daughter of the victims after she spent a painful few minutes inside her parents’ home.
The Staten Island Advance reported the victims both have birthdays in early September and had been celebrating with family shortly before returning home Sunday night.
David Didia witnessed the immediate aftermath of the attack.
“The lady ran out of the house full of blood, soaked in blood, ran up the stairs to my daughter’s house,” he said.
The incident left many in the neighborhood shaken.
“If you’re in there robbing a house and elderly people come home, just leave, run away, knock them over. It was brutal,” one woman said. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
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