Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Yaspal Persaud was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for kidnapping his estranged wife from where she worked, in full view of stunned onlookers, as well as strangling her on a previous date. The defendant led police on a multi-county, high-speed chase before he was apprehended with the victim at a Howard Beach motel in January 2021.

District Attorney Katz said: “We have prosecuted domestic violence cases aggressively and will continue doing so. Long prison sentences, however, such as the one imposed today, come after the physical harm has been done and the often permanent emotional damage has already been inflicted. I urge victims of domestic violence who need safety planning services, or help in securing an order of protection or shelter placement, to call us or to contact a Family Justice Center immediately.”

Persaud, 29, of 58th Avenue in Little Neck, Queens, was convicted in August before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Yavinsky on charges of kidnapping in the second degree, criminal contempt in the first degree, unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the third degree, reckless driving, strangulation in the second degree, menacing in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.  Today, Justice Yavinsky imposed the determinate sentence of 15 years in prison to be followed by five years post release supervision.

According to the charges, on the morning of December 24, 2020, officers conducting a wellness check at the Persaud residence in Little Neck learned he had repeatedly choked his wife the previous night when she told him she was leaving him. Persaud was arrested and an order of protection was issued on his estranged wife’s behalf.

According to court testimony, on the morning of January 22, 2021, the defendant waited in the parking lot of a CityMD office on Northern Boulevard near 192nd Street where the victim worked and accosted the woman as she arrived. In front of several people and in violation of the prior order of protection, Persaud confronted the victim as she walked to the front door of her place of employment. The defendant grabbed the victim, pushed her into the backseat of his black Mercedes Benz and drove away, with a door ajar and the victim’s legs hanging out.

After Persaud had driven around with the victim for several hours, the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit was able to track his vehicle to a location near the Grand Central Parkway. The defendant then led detectives on a high-speed pursuit and eventually evaded apprehension. TARU detectives later tracked the cellphones of the defendant and the victim to the Surfside Motel on Cross Bay Boulevard and 165th Avenue in Howard Beach, where detectives from the 111th Precinct were able to rescue the victim and arrest the defendant.

Assistant District Attorney Paige Nyer of the District Attorney’s Domestic Victims Bureau prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Afroza Yeasmin, under the supervision of then- Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Appelbaum, Bureau Chief, Audra Beerman and Mary Kate Quinn, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of then-Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

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