Hate Crime? Man Attacks Muslim Cabbie in NYC

Drunk man asks religion, then pulls knife, say police
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2010 12:31 PM CDT
A taxi cab drives past a neon sign reflected in a puddle in Times Square, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)

(Newser) – A New York man was arrested last night after attacking a cab driver with a pocket knife because he was Muslim, police tell the New York Daily News. Enright Michaels, a 21-year-old from upstate, was “very, very intoxicated” when he got in a cab around 6pm, according to a police source. Once inside he asked the driver, “Are you Muslim?” When the driver replied that he was, Michaels allegedly whipped out the knife and stabbed him in the throat, upper lip, arm, and hand.

The startled driver managed to escape the cab and lock Michaels in the back. Cops arrived, arrested Michaels, and sent him to Bellevue for psychiatric evaluation. He's been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime, among other things. "I feel very sad," said the driver, 43-year-old Ahmed Sharif, in a statement. "I have been here more than 25 years. I have been driving a taxi more than 15 years. All four of my kids were born here." He was treated and released at a local hospital.

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