Homeless man, 37, ‘who sucker-punched Ghostbusters star Rick Moranis’ appears in court

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A homeless man who allegedly sucker-punched Ghostbusters star Rick Moranis in New York City appeared in court Tuesday ahead of an August trial. 

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Marquis Ventura, 37, is facing felony assault charges after being accused of slugging the 69-year-old actor in October 2020 while he was walking on the Upper West Side. 

Ventura appeared at Manhattan Supreme Court for a hearing ahead of his trial in August. He faces up to three years in prison. 

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The man is also accused of randomly attacking other strangers in 2020, including the owner of a liquor store in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan before stealing a bottle of champagne.

Ventura has been arrested more than 13 times. His next court date regarding charges stemming from Moranis’ attack is scheduled for July 13, according to the Department of Corrections.

Marquis Ventura, 37, is facing felony assault charges after allegedly slugging  69-year-old actor Rick Moranis in October 2020 while he was walking on the Upper West Side

Marquis Ventura, 37, is facing felony assault charges after allegedly slugging  69-year-old actor Rick Moranis in October 2020 while he was walking on the Upper West Side

Ventura appeared at Manhattan Supreme Court for a hearing ahead of his trial in August. He faces up to three years in prison

Ventura appeared at Manhattan Supreme Court for a hearing ahead of his trial in August. He faces up to three years in prison

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Ventura is alleged to have punched actor Rick Moranis in an unprovoked attack in late 2020 that was captured in surveillance video

Ventura is alleged to have punched actor Rick Moranis in an unprovoked attack in late 2020 that was captured in surveillance video

Ventura is alleged to have punched actor Rick Moranis in an unprovoked attack in late 2020 that was captured in surveillance video. 

The horrifying footage shows Moranis, then-67, who is 5ft 6in walking southbound on Central Park West near West 70th Street at about 7.30am on Thursday morning.

Suddenly, an unidentified man walking past the star strikes him in the head, knocking Moranis to the ground.

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Ventura was arrested by a transit cop at the 96th Street and Broadway subway station. He has a history of 13 arrests – including five for felonies.

While the unprovoked attack was caught on video, other nearby surveillance cameras also managed to catch images of the suspect.

The attack caused Moranis to suffer pain in his head, back and right hip.

Rick Moranis, 69, was walking on New York City's Upper West Side on Thursday around 7.30am when he was attacked (pictured)

Surveillance footage captures a stranger walking past him abruptly punching Moranis in the head, knocking him to the ground (pictured)

Rick Moranis, 69, was walking on New York City’s Upper West Side on Thursday around 7.30am when he was attacked. Surveillance footage captures a stranger walking past him abruptly punching Moranis in the head, knocking him to the ground (left and right)

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Ventura was arrested by a transit cop at the 96th Street and Broadway subway station. He has a history of 13 arrests - including five for felonies

Ventura was arrested by a transit cop at the 96th Street and Broadway subway station. He has a history of 13 arrests – including five for felonies

While the unprovoked attack was caught on video, other nearby surveillance cameras also managed to catch images of the suspect

While the unprovoked attack was caught on video, other nearby surveillance cameras also managed to catch images of the suspect 

Ventura’s trial is being scheduled for August of this year. 

He faces up to three years in prison – unless he accepts a plea offer.

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The ex-convict has also been accused of randomly attacking other strangers last year, including the owner of a liquor store in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan before stealing a bottle of champagne.

Ventura faces charges for two more assaults in Manhattan and has an arrest warrant out of Pennsylvania.

Last year, Justice Diane Kiesel said that Ventura has refused two attempts to get him to submit to a psychiatric examination to determine if he is mentally able to stand trial, the New York Post reported. 

Moranis, who was born in Toronto, Canada, secured his big break when he appeared in the 1983 film Strange Brew. Pictured: Moranis at an unknown location, May 1994

Moranis, who was born in Toronto, Canada, secured his big break when he appeared in the 1983 film Strange Brew. Pictured: Moranis at an unknown location, May 1994

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Rick Moranis and his man-eating plant in the 1986 film, 'Little Shop of Horrors'

Rick Moranis and his man-eating plant in the 1986 film, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Rick Moranis and Marcia Strassman in the 1989 Disney film, 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids'

Rick Moranis and Marcia Strassman in the 1989 Disney film, ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’

Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis in the 1984 science-fiction comedy 'Ghostbusters'

Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis in the 1984 science-fiction comedy ‘Ghostbusters’

Moranis, who was born in Toronto, Canada, secured his big break when he appeared in the 1983 film Strange Brew.

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He then appeared in a string of commercially successful films including Ghostbusters in 1984, Spaceballs in 1987, and two films in 1989, Ghostbusters II and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

The original Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was so successful that Moranis returned for sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid in 1992. 

He completed the trilogy with straight-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves in 1997 which was his last on-camera role before his hiatus.  

Moranis has largely remained out of the spotlight since, only doing voicework for a few animated projects including the 2003 film Brother Bear and TV series The Animated Adventures Of Bob & Doug McKenzie.

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He said he made the decision to step away to focus on being a single father to his children, Rachel and Mitchell, after losing his wife, costume designer Ann Belsky, to breast cancer in February 1991.

He told USA Today: ‘As a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage to raise my kids and to do the traveling involved in making movies.

‘So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.’ 

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