Colorado woman suffers life-threatening injuries during alleged attack by boyfriend’s ex

Victim Alyssa Castanuela
Victim Alyssa Castanuela(Alyssa Castanuela)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 5:54 AM MDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 6:45 AM MDT
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CENTER, Colo. (KKTV) - A woman says she could have lost her life in an alleged attack by her boyfriend’s ex.

“I don’t even know how to describe the situation,” Alyssa Castanuela told 11 News. “Like, I literally was just trying to take my kids to school and we were saying good morning to a friend and I almost died.”

Police say the assault happened last week in the town of Center, a small community straddling the Saguache and Rio Grande county line west of the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

According to arrest papers obtained by 11 News, Castanuela and suspect Shianne Silva bumped into each other during the school drop-off on the morning of May 18.

“Alyssa stated that her current boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, Shianne Silva, had stopped Alyssa in the road as she was taking her children to school,” an excerpt from the affidavit reads. “Alyssa was sitting in her vehicle and Shianne was standing at the driver’s side door. The two exchanged greetings, but Shianne told Alyssa that she was not to be around her child.”

Castanuela said she responded that this was up to the daughter’s father, the affidavit continues, enraging Silva, who allegedly lunged at her through the car window.

“She’s just yelling, and then I see her, she gets her fists,” Castanuela told 11 News. “She put the weapon in between her fists like this and then she just comes running at me. So my window is already rolled all the way down and she’s just running and all I see is her just like stabbing and then there’s just like blood everywhere.

She told 11 News her two small boys saw everything.

“I just remember seeing her stabbing me and just hearing my kids crying and crying.”

A neighbor said she tried to intervene, and the suspect threatened her too.

“[The suspect] was observed striking [the victim] in the facial area with an unknown object. The neighbor tried to pull [the suspect] away but [the suspect] ‘swiped’ at her with the object, which caused the neighbor to back away,” the affidavit read.

Police say the suspect sped off, leaving Castanuela bleeding profusely from her neck. Castanuela was rushed to Rio Grande Hospital and later airlifted to Colorado Springs. The affidavit states her jugular vein was nicked during the attack and was threatening her breathing.

“She went through my carotid artery. I was only a couple millimeters away from losing my life,” Castanuela said.

When law enforcement caught up with Silva, she allegedly confirmed hitting Castanuela but claimed not to know she was holding her keys while doing so. The suspect also said she didn’t mean to stab Castanuela, according to the arrest papers.

Silva is now facing first-degree assault charges for “causing seriously bodily injury with the grave risk of death,” the affidavit concluded.

“To do it in broad daylight, you know, it’s just scary,” Castanuela said. “[My sons] are pretty traumatized. They just cry.”

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