The estranged wife of the man who shot a New York City cop is blaming a Suffolk County, Long Island, court that let him go free on bail for his actions.
On Friday, Manuel Rosales took his wife, Tia Giattino and their 3-year-old son hostage and then died in a firefight in which two NYPD sergeants were shot — Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, 41, fatally in the head, and Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, 30, wounded in the leg.
“If anyone is truly to blame for this tragedy, I blame Suffolk County District court and the judge who let him walk … knowing he was in mental distress, knowing he needed immediate psychiatric care,” his wife posted Saturday in a moving Facebook message. "Because of this gross negligence, two husbands and two fathers are lost."
According to the New York Daily News, Rosales was out on bail after having been arrested on domestic violence charges in Suffolk County despite three felony convictions in his record.
“Manny should never have been on the street in the condition he was in,” Giattino wrote. “[The] Suffolk County District Attorney’s office was aware of his condition mentally when he was arraigned for his last arrest. Instead of taking proper measure, a gross negligence occurred and he was released.”
Giattino, who posted the long message on an account under her married name of Tia Carmela Rosales, began by addressing the Tuozzolo’s death.
“First I would like to say that I am just so sorry for that Sergeant and his family. So sick to my stomach,” she wrote. “As hurt and distraught and grief stricken as I am by this end, I can't stop also thinking of that officer and his wife and children... I'm devastated.”
In describing her relationship with Rosales and her choice to take their son and hide out with friends in what she called a “safe place,” she paints a picture of a deeply abusive marriage.
“Our marriage from the beginning was painful and scary and seemed like a nightmare,” she wrote, “and most of the time these days I really hated him for all that he had done to me, as I struggled every day to cope.”
She also said that she was ignored by authorities in Suffolk County. "I attempted two separate phone calls to assistant district attorney Elizabeth Moran last week trying to understand what was happening with this case. I never received a call back."
She believes Rosales was caught up in cycle of violence and abuse.
“His childhood trauma created such a flawed character that things just never got better,” Giattino wrote. “I kept our child from Manny many times because I could never live with myself if I as a parent let my child grow up repeating Manny's traumatic childhood, witnessing his mother be abused time and time again and for violence to become normal and becoming the same.”
Even so, she said that she is mourning her husband and the person he could have been.
“I'm just thinking about the brief periods of time where he wasn't feeling twisted and being tortured by mental illness, and Manny was able to just be Manny and he was just so bright ... So bright. Had he been steered another way he could have been something amazing.”
She went on, “He was so smart, so funny, so handsome and lit up a room when he was feeling good. He was charming, committed random acts of kindness, and had the best laugh … After all of this hurt and the way this ended, I am going to choose to remember my husband the way he should be remembered, for our son's sake, not as a piece of s*** [who] killed a cop but as a beautiful person that just couldn't deal with his demons anymore.”