By David Brand
A samurai sword may have slashed Franklin Larrea’s arm, but it didn’t sever the ties that bind him to ex-girlfriend Karla Barba.
Larrea testified in defense of Barba who is charged with assault, attempted assault and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly slicing Larrea twice with a deadly decorative sword during a domestic dispute in June 2016.
After relaxing and having sex that afternoon, the couple began to argue over whether Larrea’s son, whom he raised with Barba, could visit Larrea’s sister and brother-in-law, the injured man said.
Barba was angry that Larrea did not run it by her first and the couple began arguing, he said.
Larrea said he left the dining area of their small two-bedroom apartment and saw Barba approach his son’s bedroom.
“As soon as I saw her pass by, I stood up and as soon as I turned, Karla was opening my son’s [door],” he said. “I grabbed her by the hips and threw her out and tried to close my son’s door.”
Larrea said he saw fear in Barba’s eyes as she laid on the floor. The fear quickly morphed into rage.
“She got up really fast and she grabbed something from the floor and she hit me,” Larrea said.
Barba smacked Larrea with the long saber, which was sheathed in a protective cover, he said. The cover fell off after the blow and, in “not even seconds,” Barba struck Larrea twice more, slicing him deep in the forearm and wrist.
When Barba realized what she had done, she started to sob, Larrea continued.
“I was petrified not realizing what was going on between us” he said. “She was looking at me from top to bottom and she see me with my cuts and she threw the sword to the floor, she dropped her face and she starts crying.”
Larrea ran into his son’s room and struggled to grip the telephone, instead urging his son to call 911. Larrea next rushed out of the third-floor apartment and tried to summon a second-floor neighbor for help. But, the neighbor “closed the door right in my face,” he said.
Larrea moved to the first floor, where a friend called 911 again.
“I really felt I would pass out,” Larrea said. “It went through my head that I was losing a lot of blood. Like I was waiting forever for the ambulance to come, but really it was a few seconds.”
Crime scene photos introduced into evidence showed Larrea’s blood covering the walls and floors of the apartment stairway and lobby.
There was so much blood in fact, that a first responder testified last week that treating Larrea was the only time he had used a tourniquet — a tight band used as a last resort to prevent excessive bleeding — in 10 years on the job.
An NYPD detective who met with Larrea in the hospital said the wrist wound looked as though it were “peeled like a banana.”
Despite the severity of the wounds, Larrea testified that he was back on the job as a construction worker the next week.
Barba’s attorney Stacey Richman said she might call Larrea’s son and Barba herself to the stand.
If convicted, Barba faces up to 25 years in prison.