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Parolee charged with NYC subway shove that severed girlfriend’s feet claimed it was accident, niece says

A homeless parolee charged Sunday with shoving his girlfriend into the path of a Manhattan subway, causing her feet to be severed by the train, claimed she was hurt in an accidental fall, his shocked niece says.

Christian Valdez — who made headlines in 2017 when charged with stabbing a woman and her 3-year-old daughter and then threatening to toss the girl off a Bronx fire escape — was nabbed hours after the Saturday morning attack.

But first Valdez headed to Newark, showing up at his niece’s house.

“He said they had a fight and she fell down but he didn’t know how,” the niece told the New York Daily News. “They were on their way to a medical doctor appointment. ... Together they take a train to an appointment and they had an argument.”

When she pressed her uncle about it he repeatedly said, “I don’t know,” she recalled.

“He said, ‘I don’t know what happened. My girlfriend had an accident,'” the niece recounted.

Valdez then gave either his social worker or parole officer a call — his niece wasn’t clear which one — and was told to come back to New York, which he did, she said.

“Christian has schizophrenia and he needs special help. He needs mental health help,” said his niece, who spoke on condition her name not be used.

“I hope the woman gets better,” she said, adding she hopes the victim can ultimately “forgive him, because he is sick.”

Valdez, 35, was arguing with his 29-year-old girlfriend on the Fulton Street platform when he allegedly pushed her onto the tracks, cops said. A moment later, a downtown No. 3 train bore down on her, cutting off both her feet, a police source said.

The train came to a stop, trapping the woman underneath as she repeatedly screamed, “I don’t deserve this! I don’t deserve this!” a witness told the Daily News Saturday.

Medics rushed her in critical condition to Bellevue Hospital, where she is expected to survive.

Valdez was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court Sunday on charges of attempted murder and felony assault.

Valdez has suffered from schizophrenia for the past 18 years and has been in and out of hospitals in New York and New Jersey, his niece said.

“He always took his medicine but he stopped,” she said. “He said he was taking it but he wasn’t. He was anxious and worried.”

Valdez has four past assault arrests on his record, police sources said, and public records show he’s still on parole for a Bronx attempted assault conviction from 2020. He was sentenced to up to eight years in prison in that case but was released to parole in January 2023.

On Sept. 13, 2017, he attacked Jenny Aquino and her then 3-year-old daughter, Bella, stabbing the little girl in the arm and knifing her mom in the stomach, according to cops and neighbors at the time.

Valdez was homeless and Aquino knew him from church, neighbors said. A lawsuit filed by Aquino blamed the building’s management company for failing to provide the proper security measures to keep criminals out. Aquino and the management company settled the suit for $225,000 last year, court records show.

The suspect’s niece is worried another stint behind bar will make things worse for Valdez.

“In prison they don’t have good medical help,” she said. “He needs medical help. He needs help from the doctors.”

Valdez’s niece said he started dating the victim just two or three months ago and they were living together in a shelter. The niece said she hasn’t yet met her uncle’s girlfriend but believes she was aware of his mental health problems.

The Saturday attack came despite an initiative launched by Gov. Kathy Hochul last week to deploy 750 members of the National Guard and 250 state and MTA police officers to subway stations to deter crime.

The city’s transit system has seen a 15% increase in felony assaults this year, with 97 attacks through March 3 compared to 84 by the same point last year, NYPD statistics show. So far, the transit system has been the scene of three homicides in 2024, up from one killing from this time period last year.

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