Alleged NYC hatchet attacker held without bail after prosecutor reveals new allegations

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The alleged ATM hatchet attacker used his weapon to threaten another man inside the same Lower Manhattan bank lobby less than 90 minutes before repeatedly whacking an unsuspecting victim on his head and leg, authorities charged in court papers Thursday.

Aaron Garcia, 37, also has a history of unprovoked violence that includes attacking three random strangers in Maryland, a prosecutor said during his arraignment.

The mentally ill US Army veteran was ordered held without bail following the brief proceeding in Manhattan Criminal Court, during which he remained handcuffed behind his back after being led in by two court officers.

Garcia — who wore oversized, light-blue hospital garb and slipper socks — kept his eyes narrowed as he glanced around the courtroom, glaring angrily at anyone who met his gaze.

He was charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault and second-degree menacing in three separate incidents — including the ATM incident — this month.

The most serious is the terrifying, caught-on-camera hatchet attack on food-service worker Miguel Solorzano, 50, who suffered multiple cuts and gashes when Garcia allegedly attacked him without warning while Solorzano used an ATM around 5:20 p.m. on Sunday.

Alleged hatchet attacker Aaron Garcia in court for his arraignment on August 19, 2021.
Steven Hirsch

The incident took place in the Chase branch at 42 Broadway, just steps from the famed “Charging Bull” statue, one of the area’s most popular tourist attractions, and grisly photos that surfaced Thursday showed paramedics treating the bloody victim on the sidewalk outside.

Solorzano — who can’t walk due to his leg injuries and gets dizzy from even slight exertion — is still being treated for his injuries at Bellevue Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to drain fluid from his brain, according to the complaint filed against Garcia.

Solarzano also faces additional surgeries, the complaint said.

Before Solarzano was attacked, Garcia allegedly threatened another man around 4:05 p.m. Sunday inside the Chase lobby, saying “I should f–king kill you” while brandishing an ax or hatchet, according to the complaint.

Miguel Solorzano after the hatchet attack at the Lower Manhattan bank on August 15, 2021.
Miguel Solorzano after the hatchet attack at the Lower Manhattan bank on August 15, 2021.
Polaris

And around 5:20 p.m. on Aug. 3, Garcia allegedly kicked a third man in the face near Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17, which is home to several restaurants and a rooftop concert venue.

In addition to the alleged attacks in Maryland, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Sophie Robart said Garcia’s criminal record includes getting busted with a concealed handgun in North Carolina in 2009.

Solorzano being taken to the hospital following the brutal assault.
Solorzano being taken to the hospital following the brutal assault.
Polaris

He’s wanted in Yonkers on an open arrest warrant and four bench warrants for failing to appear in court, she said.

The charges there include stalking and harassing an unidentified victim, and “Yonkers is coming to pick him up,” Robart said.

The prosecutor said the allegations against him in Manhattan would be presented to a grand jury on Monday and argued that jailing Garcia was “the least restrictive means” to ensure he returned to court.

Garcia was held without bail after prosecutors alleged he has a history of attacks and threatened somebody just before the hatchet attack.
Garcia was held without bail after prosecutors alleged he has a history of attacks and threatened somebody just before the hatchet attack.
Steven Hirsch

But she asked Judge Robert Rosenthal to require a $1.5 million bond in case he decided to set bail.

Garcia’s Legal Aid lawyer, Tim Pruitt, didn’t challenge the prosecution request but asked that Garcia receive unspecified “medical aid.”

Garcia didn’t speak and his lawyer didn’t enter a plea to the charges against him.

On Wednesday, Garcia’s mom, Sarah Garcia, exclusively told The Post that her son descended into “pure madness” following six years in the US Army that included a final tour of duty in Iraq.

An Army spokesperson on Thursday confirmed that Aaron Garcia served as a Military Police officer from July 2002 to June 2009 and was deployed to Iraq from November 2006 to February 2008.

He was discharged as a sergeant and earned more than 10 awards, including an Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a Korean Defense Service Medal and a Combat Action Badge, the spokesperson said.

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