A homeless tramp rioted on the Upper East Side on Wednesday, punching a 71-year-old cancer survivor and hitting a 1-year-old girl on the head with a bottle before Good Samaritans stepped in and held him for police.
The crazed suspect, identified by police as Antonio Marquez, 53, allegedly rampaged on Third Avenue – and now faces assault charges.
“We were crossing Third Avenue and suddenly a bottle is thrown at my 1-year-old,” said Robert Fitch, who said his 13-month-old daughter Leona was hit by the projectile.
“I heard it hit her head,” Fitch said. “It was a water bottle or soda bottle. My wife was pushing the stroller, so I gave it to my wife. One of the bouncers and I confronted the guy and said, ‘What’s your deal?’ He set up his dukes and tried to fight me.”
But Fitch said several area bouncers came to his aid and surrounded the thug and held him there until police showed up and handcuffed him.
He said Leona was not seriously hurt.
The frightening incident began around 10:50 a.m. when Marquez approached a 71-year-old woman who bouncers said was a cancer survivor and punched her, witnesses said.
Marquez had already been chasing another man but failed to catch him, using a racial slur before turning on the innocent victims.
“I was talking to my friend and we saw the guy across the street arguing with another guy,” doorman Fernando Ortega said. “They ran straight down and we weren’t paying attention until he hit the old lady and she fell. She walked towards him and he walked towards her and he just slapped 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 said Marquez pleaded, “Sorry, sorry, sorry. I just want to catch the train.”
Another bouncer, Mike Lombardi, said the elderly victim was a cancer survivor “coming out of rehab” when she was beaten.
“She managed to get up and make it here,” Lombardi said.
Meanwhile, little Leona’s father said similar violent encounters with homeless people in the Big Apple city had become all too common.
“It’s wild,” Fitch said. “Ever since they started pushing her off the subway, we’ve seen more and more homeless people in this area. We really didn’t see that many until a year ago.”
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