NEW YORK — A college student who did volunteer work in Afghanistan was charged Wednesday with using a folding tool to slash the neck and face of a New York City taxi driver after the driver said he is Muslim.
A criminal complaint alleged that Michael Enright uttered an Arabic greeting and told the victim, "Consider this a checkpoint," before the brutal bias attack occurred Tuesday night inside the yellow cab on Manhattan's East Side. Police say Enright was drunk at the time.
A judge ordered Enright, 21, held without bail on charges of attempted murder and assault as a hate crime and weapon possession. The handcuffed defendant, wearing a polo shirt and cargo shorts, did not enter a plea during the brief court appearance.
In addition to a serious neck wound, Ahmed H. Sharif suffered cuts to forearms, face and one hand while trying to fend off Enright, prosecutor James Zeleta said while arguing against bail.
Defense attorney Jason Martin told the judge his client was an honors student at the School of Visual Arts who lives with his parents in suburban Brewster, New York.
To deny bail, given his background, "I don't think is warranted," Martin argued. The lawyer declined to comment outside court.
Enright volunteered for Intersections International, a group that promotes interfaith dialogue and has supported a controversial proposed mosque near the World Trade Center site.