Friday, April 10, 2009

Greenwich man accused of violent stabbing barred from seeing son

By Debra Friedman - Greenwich Time

A 61-year-old town man accused of stabbing his estranged wife nine times with a screwdriver was barred Thursday from seeing the couple's 18-year-old son, who sat just inches away from his mother as the violent attack occurred, prosecutors said.

Michael Parrotta, of 26 Byram Terrace Drive, appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford on Thursday, where a judge signed a restraining order requiring that Parrotta stay at least 100 yards away from his son and refrain from contacting him.

The order was issued after prosecutors stated their concern for the son's safety if Parrotta posts his $1.5 million bond. The son is autistic and doesn't speak, according to officials.

It's the second restraining order against Parrotta since the alleged attack. On Tuesday, the court imposed an updated restraining order barring Parrotta from contacting his wife, officials said.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney James Bernardi told the judge that Parrotta's parental rights should be revoked after such a violent crime was committed in the presence of his child.

"He (the son) was present at the time the defendant stabbed his mother nine times. He observed it. I think to enter this order would be both legal and appropriate," said Bernardi. "I'm afraid if contact is allowed between the (son) and the defendant, the whereabouts of his mother will leak out."

Parrotta stabbed his wife in the chest and abdomen with a sharpened screwdriver on the night of April 2 as she sat in her car, police said. His wife, who lives separately from Parrotta, had arrived to pick up their son when her husband leaned in through the car window and began stabbing her, puncturing her lung and sending her to the hospital for a week.

Parrotta is charged with criminal attempt at homicide, first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, breach of peace, violation of a protective order and carrying a dangerous weapon.

He was later charged with another count of violating a restraining order and criminal possession of a firearm after police found a rifle following a search of the home.

Parrotta's wife has since been released from Stamford Hospital, officials said, but Bernardi said she may be attempting to relocate and felt Parrotta should not be in communication with her or their son because he might attempt to find them.

Parrotta's attorney, Philip Russell of Greenwich, said that Parrotta should not be restricted from seeing his son, whom he cared for five days a week. Russell said that because of the son's disorder, he would not be able to communicate to his father where his mother was staying.

Comerford also scheduled a hearing for Thursday on Parrotta's $1.5 million bond.

Under current conditions of his potential release, Parrotta will be confined to house arrest wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Russell said it was too soon to tell whether Parrotta would be able to post bond next week, noting that the issue is complicated by the couple's pending divorce. The divorce involves the couple's assets and properties, which Parrotta would use to post bond, Russell said.


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