A college student declared himself "a patriot" after slashing a New York City cabbie's neck because the driver is Muslim, prosecutors said in a court document released Wednesday.
Michael Enright also fumed to the police officers who arrested him that "you allow them to blow up buildings in this country," made an apparent joke about an Arabic greeting, taunted officers and said he had downed a pint of scotch, according to the document.
Enright, 21, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder as a hate crime and assault as a hate crime. He is being held without bail in a psychiatric ward.
His lawyer, Lawrence Fisher, declined to comment, but he has said the arts student is struggling with alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder after a trip to Afghanistan. While trying to make a documentary film, Enright spent time there with U.S. troops and was haunted by what he saw, Fisher said last week.
Enright, from Brewster, got into Ahmed H. Sharif's cab, asked the driver whether he was Muslim, uttered an Arabic greeting and made small talk, prosecutors say. The student then offended Sharif with a reference to sexual restrictions Muslims observe during the holy month of Ramadan, according to prosecutors.
Enright told the driver to "consider this a checkpoint" and then said, "I'm going to kill you now," before attacking Sharif with a folding knife, authorities said.
Sharif, who is from Bangladesh, survived. Prosecutors said he narrowly escaped a deadly wound by reacting quickly. - AP