Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NY Times-NY Man Stabs Muslim Cab Driver

Ahmed H. Sharif: NY Taxi Worker Alliance
(Story reported by Karen Zraick and Andy Newman for the NY Times)

Update, 5:19 p.m. |The man charged with the anti-Muslim slashing and stabbing of a cabdriver was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault as a hate crime and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

An emergency medical technician said that had the cut been any deeper or longer, the driver would have died, prosecutors said.

Judge ShawnDya Simpson ordered the man, Michael Enright, 21, held without bail.

James Zaleta, an assistant district attorney, said in court that Mr. Enright hailed a taxi near the intersection of 24th Street and Second Avenue on Tuesday evening. Mr. Enright asked the taxi driver, who was from Bangladesh, if he was Muslim, Mr. Zaleta said. After the driver said he was, Mr. Enright responded with the Arabic greeting, “Asalam Alakum,” according to the criminal court complaint.

Then Mr. Enright said, “Consider this a checkpoint,” before pulling out a Leatherman utility knife and slashing the taxi driver’s throat, Mr. Zaleta said. The driver turned and Mr. Enright slashed him in his face and forearms, Mr. Zaleta said.

The driver locked all four doors and drove to 42nd Street, Mr. Zaleta said, but Mr. Enright somehow got out of the car on the way. The driver flagged down a police officer standing on a corner and the officer apprehended Mr. Enright, Mr. Zaleta said.

Mr. Enright sliced the driver’s “neck open halfway across his throat,” Mr. Zaleta said.

(Click here to read the full story on the NY Times website.)

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