Ex-NYPD officer pleads not guilty in machete killing

Associated Press

Hackensack, N.J. — A former New York City police officer who authorities say threw himself in front of a train after hacking his former girlfriend to death with a machete pleaded not guilty on Thursday to murder.

Arthur Lomando, 44, of Centereach, New York, was escorted into the Hackensack, New Jersey, courtroom in a wheelchair to enter the plea in the death of Suzanne Bardzell. Lomando didn’t speak during the 10-minute hearing, The Record newspaper reported.

Bardzell, 48, was ambushed as she returned to her Midland Park home from work in October 2014, when Lomando smashed the driver’s side window of her SUV and repeatedly cut her with a “machete-like” knife, police said. Officers found Bardzell dead and the car still running when they arrived.

Hours after the slaying, Lomando threw himself in front of the New York City subway, police said. He had both of his feet amputated afterward.

In a recent $50 million lawsuit against New York’s transit authority, Lomando said he fell from the platform after he was jostled in the overcrowded station.

Before her death, Bardzell obtained a restraining order against Lomando, who had been fired from the New York City police force more than a decade ago following misconduct accusations involving vacation and overtime.

Superior Court Judge Susan Steele set Lomando’s bail at $5 million.