An East Village man is out on bail after being accused of attempting to strangle an 11-year-old girl during an argument at Stuyvesant Square Park last week.
Court records indicated that Nathaniel Direnzo, 29, of St. Marks Place posted $7,500 cash bail following his arraignment Saturday on charges of strangulation, harassment, assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Law enforcement sources said Direnzo allegedly attacked the youngster at about noon on Oct. 20 during a squabble at Stuyvesant Square, located off Perlman Place and East 16th Street.
According to WABC-TV, the trouble began as a verbal dispute between pet owners at a dog run within the park and students from a nearby school who use the park for recess.
Police said Direnzo allegedly approached one of the children, an 11-year-old girl, and began to yell at her and her classmates. He then sprayed water at her and moved to attack.
As the child fought back, cops said, the man allegedly grabbed her by the hair, punched her in the face and then attempted to strangle her with his bare hands.
Authorities said a 15-year-old boy who witnessed the attack tried to stop it, but Direnzo allegedly struck him for his trouble.
WABC-TV reported that other pet owners at the park eventually stopped the attack, and Direnzo then fled the scene.
Officers from the 13th Precinct responded to the incident. EMS brought the 11-year-old girl to Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in stable condition. Paramedics treated the 15-year-old boy at the scene for minor injuries.