A home health care aide faces a felony charge of second-degree assault for allegedly attacking internationally-renowned architect I.M. Pei at his Manhattan home earlier this month, according to a criminal complaint.
The complaint alleges Eter Nikolaishvili grabbed Pei by the right forearm Dec. 13 and forcefully twisted his arm. Pei reported suffering large round red marks over most of his right forearm, as well as bruising and lacerations that were bleeding, according to the complaint.
He said he was in "substantial pain."
According to the Post, police said Nikolaishvili hurt Pei while trying to take a phone from him after the architect said he would call police on her for doing "something bad."
Justin Feinman, Nikolaishvili's attorney, told NBC 4 New York Pei was trying to go to the bathroom at 4 a.m. and slipped; he said his client grabbed Pei's arm to keep him from falling and prevented further injury.
"How that turned into she's abusing this person who I believe she worked for for a year and a half without incident I don't know," Feinman said. "It's alleged my client twisted the arm of this elderly gentleman and that just doesn't make any sense. It's not alleged that she hit him or beat him or that there was any type of financial gain. In fact, as a result of this incident she lost her job."
Feinman said he's confident Nikolaishvili will ultimately be "completely vindicated" of the charges. He said his office's investigation is ongoing.
Nikolaishvili was released on her own recognizance after her arrest and is due back in court in March.
Pei, who designed the Kennedy Library and the Louvre's glass pyramid, has earned extensive acclaim for his projects across the globe, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Pritzker Prize, which is considered the Nobel Prize of architecture.