NEW YORK (1010 WINS / AP / WCBS 880) – A student accused of slashing a Muslim taxi driver’s neck will remain in custody for the time being.
A Manhattan judge said Monday he’ll decide at arraignment whether to grant bail for Michael Enright of Brewster, N.Y. He’s accused of attacking driver Ahmed H. Sharif, 43, with a folding knife on Aug. 24 in a busy commercial area on 40th Street and Third Avenue.
Sharif suffered a deep gash on his forearm, a defensive wound on his hand, and slashes to his neck and upper lip.
His attorney says Enright suffers from post-traumatic stress and chronic alcoholism.
Authorities say the 21-year-old uttered an Arabic greeting and told the driver: “Consider this a checkpoint.” He’s charged with attempted murder and assault, both as hate crimes.
The allegations have mystified some who know Enright, a senior at the School of Visual Arts.
“This is so contrary to everything that I know about Michael,” Reeves Lehmann, Chairman of Film Dept., School of Visual Arts, told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.
Enright’s attorney says the stress disorder was brought on by war horrors he witnessed while filming a documentary in Afghanistan. An interfaith group helped send him to Afghanistan where he spent time embedded with U.S. troops.
“That experience, I think, really took a toll on him,” Lehmann said. “I could see it in his face when he came back.”
He’ll be arraigned Sept 25.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)