Man, 71, randomly attacked in downtown Pittsburgh, police say

PITTSBURGH — A 71-year-old man said he was randomly attacked while standing outside on a busy street in downtown Pittsburgh.

The attack happened on Wednesday night, just steps from the Benedum Center and Theater Square.

“My whole face hurts, my nose hurts. I’m going to run in and take an Advil after you guys leave,” David Maka told Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca.

The bruises around Maka’s face have darkened, and his nose was still bleeding as we spoke to him downtown on Thursday.

“Just numb, you know. It hadn’t really sunk into me yet. I’ll be alright,” Maka said.

Maka lives downtown and came out of his apartment to smoke a cigarette around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday when he says he was attacked unprovoked, near bars and restaurants on 7th Avenue near Penn.

“He comes walking up and turns, and just cold-cocked me. I went to the ground, and it’s hard for me to get up once I go down. He dragged me, and proceeded to kick me, and punch me, and hold my head on the sidewalk,” he added.

Someone tried to help Maka and called 911. When officers got there, they arrested Daniel Velazquez and charged him with misdemeanor crimes.

“I want him charged with a felony. If he’s not down and out, and just a normal person, I’m not going to let him get away with it,” Maka said.

Valezquez was let out of jail Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after he was accused of beating up Maka.

Magistrate Judge Xander Orenstein granted him a non-monetary bond. Valezquez does not have a prior criminal history in Allegheny County.

Judge Orenstein has come under fire in the past for letting accused criminals out on bond. Last year, Orenstein was specifically called out by District Attorney Stephen Zappala for being too lenient.

Despite being the victim of random violence, Maka says he has no place to move out of downtown.

“It could happen to anybody. I just happened to be there, I guess.”

Channel 11 called District Judge Orenstein to ask why Velazquez was let out on bond, and we have not heard back.

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