Man accused of slugging Rick Moranis has history of assaulting strangers
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The homeless ex-con accused of sucker-punching actor Rick Moranis has allegedly been randomly attacking strangers in New York City for the past six months, it was revealed Sunday night.
Marquis Ventura, 35, was arraigned on a slew of charges in Manhattan Criminal Court late Sunday, including an assault rap for knocking Moranis to the ground in the Oct. 1 attack on the Upper West Side.
Prosecutors claimed that Ventura has been involved with a number of other unprovoked attacks — including one in lower Manhattan just hours after he allegedly pummeled the “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” star.
“The defendant has now been charged with five separate assaults occurring over a six-month period in 2020, all which include unprovoked attacks on strangers during a global pandemic,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Kelly Keating said at Ventura’s arraignment.
The same day as the attack on 67-year-old Moranis, Ventura allegedly fled downtown and socked the 45-year-old owner of a Soho liquor store and stole a bottle of champagne, according to police and prosecutors.
When “confronted by the store owner, the defendant threw the bottle at the store owner and then proceeded to repeatedly punch him above the head,” Keating said.
For that incident, Ventura was hit with charges of assault and petit larceny.
In another attack, in August, Ventura allegedly pummeled a 61-year-old customer inside a Soho bodega, prosecutors said.
The victim suffered damaged teeth and lacerations to his hand. Ventura was arraigned for that attack as well on Sunday night.
Ventura, who was arrested Saturday, was remanded by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Nicholas Moyne and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
His attorney, Autumn Levine, told the judge Sunday night that her client suffers from schizophrenia.
“He was in the psych ward in seven different states . . . diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and has been without his medication,” Levine said.
In addition to the three separate assault complaints from Sunday night’s arraignment, Ventura was arrested on Oct. 17 for allegedly assaulting a straphanger in the West Fourth Street subway station.
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In that case, he was given a desk- appearance ticket and released.
He is also suspected in an earlier attack on a subway train in The Bronx.
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