‘I was an easy target’: man in wheelchair assaulted

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — Police are looking for surveillance and eyewitnesses after a 62-year-old wheelchair-bound man was punched in the nose and thrown to the ground.

“I looked like an easy target,” Michael Marinangeli told PIX11 News.

Marinangeli uses an electric wheelchair to get around after three strokes and now he has a broken nose after an attack last Saturday night.

Police say the Upper East Side resident was assaulted for no apparent reason on 86th Street and 2nd Avenue at 9:39 p.m. by a man Michael says was clearly high or drunk. Michael had been out for dinner with his 93-year-old mother Michele, who was in the wheelchair ahead of him.

She actually swerve to avoid boy getting attacked by the same man.  When Michael’s mother saw him lying on the sidewalk she thought the worst.

Diners and staff at the nearby Heidelberg restaurant came to help after the assault.

“I hope they get this guy,” Marinangeli told PIX11 News.

“When he’s high or drunk, he could do this again. I didn’t do anything to him, I didn’t say anything to him,” he added.

Michael is hoping surveillance cameras capture a clearer image of his assailant, who he can only describe as white male in his 40s.

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