Hate-Crime Case In NYC Hack Slashing Upheld

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge on Wednesday upheld hate-crime charges against a college student accused of slashing a taxi driver’s neck in an anti-Muslim attack that amplified concerns about tolerance shortly before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers said a grand jury had had enough evidence to indict Michael Enright. The judge said he planned to set a later trial date on March 30.

Enright, his parents and his lawyer said nothing as they left court.

The 22-year-old film student has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault as hate crimes in the Aug. 24 stabbing.

Enright asked driver Ahmed Sharif whether he was Muslim, uttered an Arabic greeting and told him to “consider this a checkpoint” before cutting him with a folding knife, prosecutors said.

After his arrest, Enright declared himself “a patriot” and told the police officers who arrested him that “you allow them to blow up buildings in this country,” according to authorities.

Enright’s lawyer, Lawrence Fisher, has said the School of Visual Arts student was beset by alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder after a trip to Afghanistan to film a documentary. He plans a psychiatric defense.

When arrested, Enright was carrying an empty bottle of scotch and notebooks describing his Afghan experiences, authorities said.

Enright was profoundly troubled by his time in Afghanistan, where he was briefly embedded with troops, according to his lawyer.

Enright was freed in October on $500,000 bail, with conditions requiring him to get alcohol-abuse treatment and mental-health care, among other things. He lives in Brewster, about 60 miles north of Manhattan.

If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

Enright’s arrest came amid debate over a planned Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero, a subject that became a political flashpoint in the weeks before the ninth anniversary of the 2001 attacks.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • lahood

    he is a very pretty boy. blond hair and nice fat cheeks. he will be very popular in prison. the sisters will love him.

  • pugphan

    nicotine made him do it, he needed a fix, and so he lashed out at what he thunk was a terrorist…smokersodysseycom

  • marcus

    The Good Samaritan
    your an idiot and a truble maker,,,glad you dont live in the united kingdom

  • marcus uk

    The Good Samaritan
    you are just saying that you think it is the thing to say and do knock anything you do not understand idiot..

  • Peppy

    Good! This punk deserves to go to jail for HATE CRIME! The fact that he asked if the victim was Muslim, shows that his motivation to cut the victim was key in cutting the victim. This taxi driver was only supporting himself and family, he cannot be stereotyped as a terrorist because he is Muslim. This racist pig should rot in hell.

  • marcus

    Carlos Liriano
    what a great guy you are honest and true , themans a nut to go around stabbing people for what faith,, i spent time in northen Ireland but i dont go around killing irish people.. some of the peope on this place are just being silly Carlos ,, most like dont know a muslim from anybody else thats why he had to ask.. the nutter

  • What's right is right, right Mr. Enright?

    Cartman lookalike Michael Enright should be imprisoned for his psychotic behavior.

  • Mr. Armenia

    I understand what you are saying but they are alot of Arab cab drivers that are biased towards white fares.

  • Abe

    True but this was not the case, He asked him if he was a Muslim then he stabbed him, This was not a fare dispute., When normal people have a dispute with a cabbie, They report it to the TLC and they set up a hearing to discipline the driver as opposed to pulling out a knife and stabbing the driver. Hate is an ugly stain in our society and should be eradicated no matter it being who against who and it only appeals to biggots.

  • Mr. Armenia

    The are times that the cabbies harass passengers and try to charge an illegal fare.

    • raymnd uk

      ok cabbies do that all over the world come to the uk ..but they do not kill you or try to cut you up with a knife, cos your a christian or white,,,

  • Abe

    What a crock, It’s simply a hate crime, Prosecutors should through the book at him to make an example that hate crimes have consequences and should never be tolerated no matter against who. Don’t be fooled by his pitiful looks or kakamani claims of his lawyer He just want to get him off easy. Show some balls and send a message and make an example out of this wacko.

  • Carlos Liriano

    i spent 2 1/2 years in the jungles of viet-nam and dint come back stabbing or shooting people, only the weak of mind and spirit can say they are suffering from post-traumatic stress, that claim is nothing but hogwash

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live