A man has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly repeatedly stabbing a New York City taxi driver after asking him if he is Muslim, authorities said.
Michael Enright, 21, of Brewster, New York, was arrested for assault, aggravated harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon following Tuesday evening’s attack, police said.
A police source said the suspect hailed the cab at East 24th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. The source said the crime apparently occurred while the cabbie drove the suspect about twenty blocks.
Enright allegedly said to the driver “are you a Muslim?” before stabbing him in the neck, face and arm, the source said.
The driver was able to stop the vehicle, lock the passenger inside the cab and call 911, the source said.
According to police, the cab driver was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.
Update 4: 25 p.m.: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued the following statement regarding the stabbing of the cab driver:
“I spoke today with the taxi driver who was stabbed last night in an attack that appears to have been motivated by anti-Muslim bias. I assured him that ethnic or religious bias has no place in our city, and to help show that, I invited him to City Hall to meet with me tomorrow, an invitation he accepted.
“This attack runs counter to everything that New Yorkers believe, no matter what God we may pray to. I want to thank the men and women of the NYPD for their quick response in apprehending the suspect who was arrested and charged with attempted murder as a hate crime. We will continue to do everything possible to crack down on any crime that targets someone because of who they are or what they believe.”
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