According to The New York Post, an unhinged vagrant arrested for slapping a Times Square tourist in the face is the same “threat” who previously sucker-punched an Upper West Side lawyer, only to be released due to the state’s lax bail laws.
The attack on Josh Epstein on May 8 not only threw him for a loop, but it also sent him packing. Following the unprovoked assault, Epstein relocated his terrified family to Connecticut and publicly pleaded with his assailant to seek help.
Epstein, who now commutes to Manhattan, said he moved to Greenwich for safety reasons. “This guy is really a certifiable lunatic. … The reason I made a public plea is because I knew this would happen again. And it did”.
Osvaldo Rosa, 37, was back on the streets just days after allegedly assaulting Epstein, who recognized Rosa from the Times Square incident footage and photos and contacted the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
According to Epstein, the DA confirmed to him that his assailant was also responsible for punching the tourist.
Rosa was charged with misdemeanor assault, resisting arrest, and harassment after allegedly attacking Epstein at West 66th Street and Columbus Avenue. Rosa has five prior arrests for assault, contempt of court, trespassing, and marijuana possession. Rosa was set free after four days.
Rosa, dubbed “Blanket Man” by locals because of the brown comforter he always wears, approached the lawyer, 40, as he was getting out of his car, and kicked the vehicle’s door open, he said.
“[He was] screaming that the street was his property and, then, he hit me in the face,” the lawyer said at the time. “He hit me so hard it busted my lip open … blood splattered all over my shirt.”
While their 2-year-old wailed in the backseat, Epstein’s pregnant wife frantically dialed 911.
Rosa fled before cops arrived, according to Epstein, who was treated on the spot for his injuries. Two days later, the legal eagle spotted his alleged assailant milling around on a corner a block from the scene of the assault — and alerted police.
According to the NYPD and sources, the suspect stalked the 20-year-old victim before punching him in the face on Seventh Avenue near West 49th Street at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to sources, the creep followed the man up the block after the unprovoked assault, until nearby officers intervened.
Witnesses stared in disbelief as at least four cops struggled to subdue the suspect on video from the scene.
Rosa’s alleged repeat offense was not eligible for bail under the new state laws, according to the DA’s office, but the charges in the May incident were. Rosa was unable to be contacted.