An Upper East Side man said his neighborhood is being overrun by the homeless after his daughter was hit in the head with a bottle thrown by a homeless man. In addition to striking the 1-year-old with the bottle, the homeless man was also able to attack a 71-year-old cancer survivor by punching her in the face before Good Samaritans subdued him.
After his alleged rampage on third avenue, police have charged the suspect, Antonio Marquez, 53, with felony assault.
“We crossed Third Avenue, and all of a sudden, a bottle gets thrown at my 1-year-old,” said Robert Fitch, the father of the 13-month-old daughter, Leona, whom he claimed was struck by the object.
“I heard it hit her head,” Fitch said. “It was a water bottle or soda bottle. My wife was pushing the stroller, so I handed her off to my wife. One of the doormen and I confronted the guy and were like, ‘What’s your deal?’ He put up his dukes up and tried to fight me.”
Instead of getting into an altercation with the man, Fitch said he was aided by several doormen in the area who came over to help. They subdued the suspect until police arrived and arrested the crazed man.
Fitch said his daughter did not suffer any severe injuries.
The terrifying ordeal began at about 10:50 am when Marquez approached a 71-year-old woman, who was a cancer survivor, claimed the doorman. Witnesses said the woman was punched in the face by the vagabond.
The suspect had already unsuccessfully chased another man, used a racial slur, and then turned on the unsuspecting victims.
“I was talking with my friend, and we saw the guy across the avenue arguing with another guy,” said doorman Fernando Ortega. “They ran straight down, and we didn’t pay attention until he punched the old lady, and she fell. She was walking toward him, and he was walking toward her, and he just punched her in the face.
“Then he picked up a bottle and threw it at a little baby,” Ortega said. “After that we all got together and cornered the guy until the police came.”
“Sorry, sorry, sorry. I just want to go to the train.” Marquez allegedly pleaded.
Mike Lombardi, another doorman, said the victim “was coming back from rehab” when she was attacked. The woman was a cancer survivor.
“She managed to get up and make it over here,” Lombardi said.
Fitch claimed that violent encounters with the city homeless are common in New York City.
“It’s wild,” Fitch said. “Every since they started pushing them out of the subway, we have seen more and more homeless guys in this area. Up until a year ago we really didn’t see that many.”