MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — A homeless man who assaulted a stroller-pushing Washington Heights mother until she fought him off with a bike pump was sentenced to six months in jail Tuesday — after prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to prove he planned to rape her.
Oscar Ruiz, 35, pleaded guilty to second-degree menacing in relation to his Sept. 27 attack of MaryJane Jarman as she jogged along the Hudson River Greenway. Ruiz charged at Jarman, 33, with a broken bottle and grabbed her in a bear hug, forcing the mother of two to fight him off with a bicycle pump.
Prosecutors originally wanted to charge Ruiz with attempted rape, however, said it would have been difficult to prove that Ruiz intended to sexually assault the victim. Instead, Ruiz pleaded guilty to intentionally placing Jarman in fear of injury by displaying a deadly weapon.
"In interviews with the victim we found that it would be difficult to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt," prosecutors said at Ruiz' sentencing.
Ruiz was arrested in New Jersey on Oct. 6 and agreed to be extradited to New York four days later. He remained in custody in New Jersey until Nov. 14. Jail sentence will include time already served in custody.
Appearing in court in handcuffs and wearing a black sweater, Ruiz apologized for his actions after receiving his sentence.
"I am very sorry for what I did," Ruiz said. "If I could do anything to rectify what I did, I would."