A homeless wanderer went on an assaulting spree on the Upper East Side on September 14, when he hit a one-year-old child in the head with a water bottle and attacked a 71-year-old cancer survivor before emergency responders intervened and took him into custody. The suspect Antonio Marquez, 53, is now charged with felony assault.
Robert Fitch, the father of the young girl, Leona, told reporters, “We crossed Third Avenue and all of a sudden a bottle gets thrown at my 1-year-old.” “I heard it hit her head,” he 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.” However, Fitch claims that numerous doormen in the vicinity came to his help and surrounded the aggressor, holding him there until police arrived and placed handcuffs on him.
While the father was relieved that Leona was not gravely injured, he claimed that violent clashes with the homeless in the city had become all too prevalent. “It’s wild,” Fitch told. “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.”
Witnesses said that Marquez assaulted a 71-year-old woman who was described as a cancer survivor by doormen at around 10.50 in the morning to start the terrifying episode. Prior to attacking the defenseless victims, Marquez had been pursuing another man with racist remarks but was unable to catch up to him.
“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.” He revealed Marquez pleaded, “Sorry, sorry, sorry. I just want to go to the train.”
The elderly victim, a cancer survivor, was “coming back from therapy,” according to another doorman, Mike Lombardi, when she was clobbered. “She managed to get up and make it over here,” Lombardi commented.