DA Vance: Christian Falero Found Guilty at Trial of Murdering Two Neighbors and Attacking Four Others

December 9, 2014

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of CHRISTIAN FALERO, 26, for attacking six people, killing two, in August 2011. The defendant was found guilty by a jury in New York State Supreme Court of the top charge in the indictment, Murder in the First, as well as various charges of Assault, Attempted Assault, Robbery, and Burglary.

“In 2011, Christian Falero embarked on a five-minute-long campaign of terror in his apartment building, in which six people were senselessly and brutally attacked — four of them elderly — and two people lost their lives,” said District Attorney Vance. “For showing no regard for human life, a jury rightfully found him guilty of two counts of Murder in the First Degree. Manhattan is a safer place with violent criminals like this defendant off our city’s streets.”

As proven at trial, at approximately 4 p.m. on August 23, 2011, FALERO attacked six people inside his apartment building on Riverside Drive at West 160th Street in Washington Heights. First, the defendant chased down and brutally beat a 22-year-old female home health aide by the building’s mailboxes on the first floor. He then ran upstairs to the second floor, yelled “Fire!,” causing a 75-year-old resident to open her front door. He immediately assaulted her, grabbed a knife from her apartment, and attacked her 81-year-old husband, Ignacio Collazo, fatally stabbing him multiple times. Upon hearing the attack, two concerned neighbors opened their doors. FALERO stabbed them both, killing 60-year-old Yan Zhi Wang and stabbing an 85-year-old woman nine times. He then stole the cellphone of another concerned neighbor standing in the hall while she had been attempting to call 911. FALERO then fled the building and was immediately apprehended by police.

Assistant District Attorneys Maxine Rosenthal and Emily Ching handled the prosecution of this case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kerry O’Connell, Chief of Trial Bureau 80, and Executive Assistant Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Trial Preparation Assistant Pia Freedman assisted with the case. 

District Attorney Vance would like to thank members of the NYPD’s 33rd Precinct, particularly Detective Michael Pellegrino.

Defendant Information:

New York, NY


•    Murder in the First Degree, a class A felony, 2 counts
•    Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
•    Attempted Assault in the First Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
•    Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
•    Assault in the Second Degree a class D felony, 1 count
•    Burglary in the First Degree, a class B felony, 3 counts