Homeless man busted in string of unprovoked NYC attacks: cops

A deranged homeless man who terrorized the Upper West Side in a spree of unprovoked attacks is finally behind bars — after slugging nearly a half-dozen unsuspecting victims in just one day, police said.

Elkin Ortiz, 27, was nabbed Wednesday in connection with the broad-daylight assaults that began around 11:10 a.m. Friday on West 65th Street near Central Park West and continued for several hours, police said.

Ortiz had been out of state prison for less than one month and was still on parole on a May 2021 assault conviction when he carried out the string of assaults — two of which have been classified as hate crimes by police, records show.

In the first attack Friday, police said, he walked up to a 27-year-old man and slugged him several times in the right ear before taking off. 

Ortiz allegedly first targeted a 27-year-old man on West 65th Street near Central Park West on the Upper West Side.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai West Hospital to be treated for multiple facial fractures and was listed in stable condition. 

About 20 minutes later, Ortiz allegedly slugged a 35-year-old man who was walking along West Drive in Central Park, cops said. 

But he wasn’t done.

Police said he also allegedly slapped a 26-year-old woman across her lips as she walked on the Bow Bridge in the park about 10 minutes later. 

Elkin Ortiz
Two of Ortiz’s alleged assaults were classified as hate crimes, cops said.

While both of the Central Park victims are white, authorities had no details on the exact circumstances that turned the assaults into hate crimes.

During his spree, Ortiz also allegedly struck a 32-year-old man in the face, causing bleeding to his nose, in a random attack at Fifth Avenue and East 79th Street on the Upper East Side, police said. 

Police say Ortiz also pummeled a 23-year-old man waiting for a northbound train at 66th Street and Broadway in yet another unprovoked Upper West Side attack.

The victim was left with a small laceration, cops said. 

Police said Ortiz was charged with assault in all five incidents, two of them classified as hate crimes.

Records show he had already served more than a year behind bars in connection with a May 2021 second-degree assault conviction. 

He was released this past August 16, with his post-release supervision set to expire in 2024, state Department of Correction records show.

His new arrest comes amid a rise in troubling random attacks in the Big Apple.

On the same day police busted Ortiz, another homeless vagrant was charged with punching a 71-year-old cancer survivor and hurling a bottle that hit a 1-year-old baby in the head on the Upper East Side.

Police said Antonio Marquez was surrounded by the baby’s dad and several doormen from the neighborhood until cops showed up and arrested him.

On Monday, an unidentified brute slammed a teenager in the face with a brick in Chelsea, landing the innocent victim in the hospital, police said.