The Queens woman charged with nearly killing her then-boyfriend in late July on the side of a Calverton road entered a not guilty plea in Suffolk County Court Friday, according to court records.
Claudia Patricia Garcia Vargas, 53, was originally arraigned in Riverhead Town Justice Court following her Aug. 2 arrest by Riverhead Town police. Cases with felony charges as Ms. Garcia Vargas is facing are typically then dropped in town court following an indictment in county court.
Ms. Garcia Vargas was remanded on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash before Justice John Collins in Riverside. A temporary order of protection was also issued, records show.
She still faces multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a weapon.
She is now being represented by attorney Sanders Denis of Jackson Heights after having a Legal Aid attorney at the initial arraignment. Mr. Denis did not a return a call left with his office Tuesday.
Riverhead police said the incident occurred shortly after midnight on July 24. Police responded to a home on Fresh Pond Avenue in Calverton to a report that a man, who was bleeding, had approached the home seeking assistance for a knife wound to his neck. The 48-year-old man transported by the Wading River Fire Department to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. Police said the victim, identified as Daniel Saavedra, had suffered “substantial pain and bleeding.”
Mr. Saavedra said Ms. Garcia Vargas, his former girlfriend of seven years, often borrowed money from him and was jealous, according to a statement he gave police the day after the attack. He had told her he wanted to break up with her because his mother was ill and he needed money for her.
On the night of the attack, Ms. Garcia-Vargas picked up Mr. Saavedra in Queens, where he worked, and told him they were going to eat steak and drink beer. Instead, she drove east for more than an hour, eventually pulling over on the side of Fresh Pond Avenue in Calverton when Mr. Saavedra said he “had to pee,” according to a criminal complaint.
That’s when the attack happened and, according to the criminal complaint, she allegedly told him: “This is where you die!”
He was able to escape and knock on the door of a resident, who called police.
Ms. Garcia Vargas is due back in court Oct. 7.