Despite pleas from his attorney over his mental state, the film student accused of stabbing a Jamaica cab driver because he is a Muslim will remain in jail until his official indictment date, a Manhattan judge ruled Monday.
Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers said he would make another decision on Michael Enright’s bail during his next hearing Sept. 22, when he will be indicted for his alleged attack against Ahmad H. Sharif, who was driving the 21-year-old student in his cab Aug. 24, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.
Enright, who studies at the School of Visual Arts, got into a conversation with the Bangladeshi immigrant about his Muslim background and at one point shouted the Arabic phrase “Assalaumu Alaikum,” meaning “Peace be with you,” before allegedly stabbing the father of four through the cab’s divider, prosecutors said.
The student’s attorney, Lawrence Fisher, asked the judge to release his client on $250,000 bail from the prison ward at Bellevue Hospital because his client suffers from alcoholism and post traumatic stress disorder, the Associated Press reported. A few months ago, he was in Afghanistan filming a documentary while embedded with U.S. soldiers.
He was intoxicated during his arrest and was immediately evaluated at Bellevue, according to police.
“This is not a hate crime in our view,” Fischer told the judge, according to the AP.
Sharif and some supporters who have rallied to his cause disagreed. After spending a day in the hospital for treatment of stab wounds to his neck and shoulders, Sharif told reporters he thought the attack definitely had to do with his religion.
He and his family met with the mayor and city police commissioner at City Hall and all called on the city to be more tolerant.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community News Group
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