Puerto Rican Beggar Accused of Stabbing Woman With Needle

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Police said Thursday they have arrested a panhandler who stabbed a woman with a hypodermic needle when she declined to give him money.

Aguadilla police say the victim had pulled to a curbside to feed her baby when 32-year-old Marcos Ramos Ortiz approached and asked her for $5.

When she rolled down her window and told him she did not have any money, he reached in and plunged the needle into her left thigh, prompting her to accelerate the car and run over his feet, said investigating officer Noel Perez Crespo.

It is unclear whether the needle had any liquid in it or was contaminated, Perez said. While the suspect has hepatitis C, the 24-year-old women has not shown any signs of infection, Crespo said, though other charges might be filed if she contracts a disease.

The woman went to a hospital for treatment after the attack in December, Perez said. "She was so traumatized and scared."

She called police this week after seeing the man again for the first time since the attack, which occurred in the northwest coastal town of Aguadilla. He was arrested Tuesday.

It is unclear if the suspect has an attorney, but he has said he is not guilty, Perez said.
He is expected to appear in court on Monday on assault charges.