An East Meadow man was arrested and charged with assault after he hit a 17-year-old man on the head with a crowbar, according to Nassau County police.
Police say Richard Ortiz, 45, accompanied by his 17-year-old daughter and three of her teenage friends, arrived at Abe Levitt Park in Hicksville at 1:20 a.m. on June 18, where four men were located, including the victim, whose name has not been released.
Ortiz's daughter exited the vehicle, approached the group and attempted to engage in a fight, police say.
When the 17-year-old male stepped in to prevent an altercation, Ortiz allegedly struck him in the head with a crowbar, causing a large laceration. Ortiz fled the scene with the four females.
The injured male was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Ortiz surrendered to detectives at the second precinct at noon on Wednesday. He is charged with second-degree assault.
According to Ortiz’s Forest Hills-based attorney, Deron Castro, Ortiz went to the park to protect his daughter from the group of males, who he said were equipped with bats. “He saved these girls,” Castro said. “He didn’t go down there to harm anyone. He went down to prevent something from happening, and he was the victim of the attack.”
Castro said Ortiz was released on bond within an hour of his June 25 arraignment, and that he pleaded innocent. “We’re going to continue to litigate the case,” Castro said. “He should have never been arrested.”