Man, 29, arrested for allegedly strangling, punching 11-year-old girl

The suspect. Photo credit NYPD

NEW YORK – Police have arrested a man who they say assaulted an 11-year-old girl—and a teen boy who tried to help her—in a midday attack at a Manhattan park this week.

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Nathaniel Direnzo, 29, who said he was acting in self-defense, approached the girl and from behind at Stuyvesant Square, at E. 16th Street and Nathan D. Perlman Place, around noon on Wednesday, as he began yelling at her and her classmates