Man Arrested in Attacks on 11-Year-Old Girl, Classmate During Recess in NYC Park

Nathaniel Direnzo, 29, was arrested on Saturday in connection with the violence at a Manhattan park a few days earlier

Stuyvesant Square Park
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A 29-year-old man has been arrested on strangulation, assault and other charges in connection with last week's attack on an 11-year-old girl and her classmate during their recess at a Manhattan park, police said over the weekend.

Nathaniel Direnzo, of Manhattan, was cuffed Saturday. He is also charged with harassment and two counts of acting in a manner injurious to a child in the attack at Stuyvesant Square Wednesday, police said. Attorney information wasn't known.

The victim and a few of her classmates were in the park during school recess when cops have said a man in black sunglasses and gray, long-sleeved shirt approached them and started yelling. It's not clear what he said, but he allegedly sprayed water at the 11-year-old girl and began to attack her.

When the girl tried to fight back, the suspect grabbed her hair, punched her in the face and tried to choke her, the NYPD said. A 15-year-old student who tried to help the younger victim was then hit by the suspect, authorities said.

The girl was taken to Mt. Sinai Beth Israel hospital in stable condition and was expected to be OK. The teen victim was treated at the park for minor injuries.

Police on Thursday released images of the alleged attacker and asked anyone with information to come forward.

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