Man who punched girl at Grand Central was free on bail: cops

A despicable savage is facing assault charges after police say he beat a 9-year-old girl in an unprovoked attack at Grand Central Terminal on Saturday.

Jean Carlos Zarzuela, 30, who was held without bail despite charges of assaulting an elderly woman earlier this month, was arraigned in court Sunday for the shocking attack, MTA police said. He was taken from a Manhattan police station in handcuffs for arraignment.

Jean Carlos Zarzuela, 30, was charged with assault after allegedly punching a 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Station. GN Miller/New York Post

Police said Zarzuela is accused of approaching the Bronx girl inside the historic terminal around 11:50 a.m. and punching her without warning.

Officials said the girl felt dizzy and in pain and was taken to NYU Langone Tisch Hospital.

Zarzuela, who initially fled the scene, already faces assault charges for allegedly punching an elderly woman in the head on April 4, according to court records.

He was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and harassment in the case, but was released without bail by Manhattan Judge Laurie Peterson, records show.

He was still on the street when he struck the girl in Grand Central, but was taken into custody again Sunday.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Sunday that Zarzuela is awaiting arraignment.

Peterson made headlines in 2020 when he released a looting suspect who hit an NYPD officer in the head with a glass bong, The Post reported at the time.

Manhattan prosecutors had asked Kevin Bullock, 22, to post bail in the case at $25,000 cash or $75,000 bail, but Peterson instead posted no bail. The suspect was released.

Surveillance video captured Jean Carlos Zarzuela, who was wandering around Grand Central, allegedly hitting the girl. new york city police
Police said Jean Carlos Zarzuela punched a 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal on Saturday and then fled. new york city police

In 2016, Peterson also released another suspect charged in a random attack on a woman in Greenwich Village.

Once released, the career criminal was arrested on suspicion of slashing two other women.

Kari Bazemore was later found unfit to stand trial and committed to a psychiatric hospital.

State court officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jean Carlos Zarzuela, who had previously been charged with hitting a woman on April 4, was re-arrested and held without bail on Saturday for allegedly hitting a 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal. was released. new york city police