NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Friday arrested and charged a suspect in a violent assault on a woman and her three children in Queens, at the hands of a man who allegedly posed as a livery cab driver.
Pedro Vargas, 48, of Yonkers, has been charged with two counts of felony assault and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He made his initial court appearance Friday night.
Police said surveillance video showing the attack in gruesome detail helped investigators track down the suspect, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported.
In court, Vargas’ attorney said the video was misleading.
“The prosecutor asked for $25,000 bail. The judge was reasonable enough to set bail at $3,500,” said Vargas’ attorney, Howard Greenberg.
The arraignment was quick and the bail was relatively low, Young reported. But Vargas was to remain n custody until his parole officer can weigh in, which will likely not happen until Tuesday.
Vargas could face up to two years in jail if convicted, according to the District Attorney’s office.
Around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, the woman told police she got into a man’s dark-colored sedan after he said he was a livery cab driver.
He took her and her kids, ages 5, 3, and 1, on an 11-mile ride from 207th Street and Post Avenue in Inwood, Manhattan to Queens to a homeless shelter at the former Pan American Hotel, at 79-00 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, police said.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, the criminal complaint says that when they pulled up to the shelter, Vargas and the victim began to argue about the fare.