The Central Park kissing bandit was caught Tuesday, and charged with stealing a smooch and an iPod from a 26-year-old sunbather as well as a week-long robbery spree along the No. 2 subway line. Miguel Ortiz, 27, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. after he allegedly held up two women on a northbound No. 2 train in lower Manhattan, police said.
But his life of crime began long before: Ortiz has prior arrests for robbery, grand larceny and drug possession, and, last Thursday, just hours before the Central Park incident, Ortiz allegedly robbed two women in The Bronx (one 17, the other 18 at the 225th Street station on the No. 2 line). On Friday, he struck again, this time holding up a 23-year-old woman in Brooklyn at the Hoyt Street station on the No. 2 line. Saturday, the spree continued, with Ortiz allegedly mugging two more women on the No. 2 less than 30 minutes apart, a 17-year-old and a 41-year-old woman—whose ring he was apparently wearing when he was arrested. Sunday, Ortiz returned to The Bronx and stole a 34-year-old woman’s cellphone at the Freeman Street No. 2 station. He took Monday off, but was at it again on Tuesday, when he approached a 21-year-old woman on a 2 train, asking if she was in a gang, threatening to cut her, ripping off her necklace and taking her bag. He then allegedly ordered the woman to get off at the Wall Street station, where she found cops who proceeded to arrest Ortiz only to be confronted by a 21-year-old woman who told them the suspect had just robbed her of her BlackBerry.
Ortiz was charged with robbery and sex abuse for his Central Park antics and three counts of robbery for the other holdups. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that Ortiz could potentially be connected to five more robberies, pending an investigation. He was held without bail at his arraignment in Manhattan last night, awaiting a court appearance in Brooklyn today.
Photo courtesy of rachaelvoorhees on Flickr