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DA: NYC Cabbie Attacker Called Himself a Patriot

DA: NYC Cabbie Attacker Called Himself a Patriot

Michael Enright [AP]

Associated Press

September 23, 2010

NEW YORK — A college student declared himself “a patriot” after slashing a New York 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 American troops and was haunted by what he saw, Fisher said last week.

Enright, from Brewster in New York’s Hudson Valley, got into 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.

Enright made a series of provocative remarks to police officers who took him to a station house and then to a hospital, according to the document released Wednesday.

He said he was Jewish and officers would “ruin the entire Jewish race by locking me up,” and then went on to make a play on words with a common Arabic greeting, the document said.


Michael Enright, right, with his lawyer, Jason Martin, at his arraignment in August. [AP]

“Assalamu alaikum – do you like salami and bacon?” the document quoted him as saying. The Arabic phrase means “peace be upon you.”

Enright also asked officers “What ya going to do? Beat me up?,” called one “a stupid broad” and branded an officer a coward because “you weren’t over there,” the document said.

Finally, Enright said, “I am a patriot, and I want representation,” according to the document.

When arrested, Enright was carrying an empty bottle of scotch, as well as notebooks that described his experiences in Afghanistan, police said.

If convicted, Enright could face up to 25 years in prison.

The case added to the tense atmosphere surrounding debate over a planned Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero, a discussion that has raised questions about Muslims’ acceptance in American society nine years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Critics say a mosque has no place occupying a building so near the site where Muslim extremists killed thousands. Supporters say the project is meant to promote interfaith understanding and would stand as a symbol of tolerance.

  • L_59fe72e99fa891e59f62e6ceb62eca88_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I understand this guys views, but he is no different than any terrorist. We are Americans, we don't act out in hate. That's why we call them terrorists.

  • Myavatar_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    One of the most difficult things for an American to do, is think outside the box. I hate to tell you this, but the people from that part of the world don't think like you. They don't share your values and they hate you. They're taught from an early age (in cartoon form) that they are superior to you in every way, you are poisonous to the earth and God (Allah) will reward them in abundance for each infidel they destroy. They are taught to lie, and to lie so believably they will gain your trust enabling them achieve their objective, and again, that is to destroy you. This kid learned that during his little vacation to Afghanistan. Most Americans that have been to that part of the world for any length of time eventually see through the lies and know this to be true. Most are quiet about it though, because in America, we're on this politically correct roller coaster that labels us as haters and racists and war mongers. So you see, we have become politically correct to a fault. It has blinded us to what is very, very real. In writing this, I know there are those who are reading and thinking "damn, this dudes a radical racist" and that's cool. I understand the dilemma. The problem is no matter what you think of me (and I've spent more time in the middle east than I care to discuss) no matter what you think of what I've written here, your thoughts won't change the reality. No matter how peaceful and loving you are, hasn't the slightest impact on these people. It's what their God requires them to do for salvation. The act of this college student will most likely replicate as more troops come home from that hell. I won't judge them, I don't judge this kid. Have you ever wondered why Muslims all over the world aren't on the news networks to publicly and passionately denounce the actions of Al-Qaeda, They are quick to declare Islam a religion of peace. Really? REALLY?

  • My_kids_027_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I get sick and tired of these idiots that think they can change the world by taking another human beings life because of his or her religious preference. Hitler tried it and it didn't work then after killing thousands, so now if you don't like living around muslims or any other people my best suggestion is just leave. I promise we won't miss you.

  • 1979_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    This little idiot has some serious problems. He loses a grip because of what he saw as a civilian making a film!? If he had any balls he would have gone and enlisted and fight terrorism in a proper and lawful manner instead of getting drunk to garner enough courage to attack an unarmed man from behind. Get him the help he needs...and then send his sorry butt to prison.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    What a f 'ing moron. "the arts student is struggling with alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder after a trip to Afghanistan". Is this suppose to be an excuse? we dont tolerate it from our vets coming back and we shouldnt put up with it from this idiot either.

  • Pl_avatar_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Too bad the young "patriiot:" won't do some time in the general population of Rikers Island. Pretty sure his education would be furthered there.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    Sounds like another lunatic who needs to get locked up. He "spent time with American troops in Afghanistan" while doing a documentary, and he thinks that excuses this?! Somethin' tells me there's somethin' wrong inside the Brain Housing Group here.

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