Steve Buscemi: Police arrest man accused of punching ‘Boardwalk Empire’ actor

Steve Buscemi posing on the red carpet.

NEW YORK — Police in New York City on Friday arrested a man accused of randomly attacking actor Steve Buscemi, authorities said.

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Clifford Williams, 50, a homeless man, was arrested by New York City police and charged with second-degree assault, The New York Times reported.

A police spokesperson told the newspaper that the charge was elevated to a felony because of Buscemi’s age.

Buscemi was walking in the Kips Bay area of Manhattan on May 8 around noon when the suspect allegedly struck him in the face while the “Boardwalk Empire” actor was leaning against a wall, texting on his phone, WNBC-TV reported.

Buscemi, a Brooklyn native and former New York City firefighter, was taken to Bellevue Hospital for bruising, swelling and bleeding to his left eye, according to the television station. The actor, also known for his roles in “Fargo” and “The Sopranos,” was released but declined to speak about it on camera several days after the attack, WCBS-TV reported.

Police said the actor was attacked about 30 minutes after Williams allegedly punched a 22-year-old man on Third Avenue near 16th Street, according to the television station.

Police responded to a dispute on Friday between Williams and another man at a homeless shelter in the Chelsea neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, the Times reported. Officials, who had released surveillance photographs of Williams after the attack, recognized the suspect and arrested him, according to the newspaper.

Buscemi is the latest celebrity to be randomly attacked in New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His “Boardwalk Empire” co-star, Michael Stuhlbarg, was struck in the back of the neck with a rock on March 31, the Times reported.

Over the past few years, Rick Moranis and Bethenny Frankel have also been victims of random attacks in New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

If convicted of the charges, Williams could be jailed up to seven years in prison, the Times reported.

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