CHINATOWN, Manhattan — Authorities have added a hate crime charge against a Brooklyn man who admitted to stabbing an Asian man in Chinatown in an apparently unprovoked attack, officials announced Friday.
The suspect, 23-year-old Salman Muflihi, of Bensonhurst, was initially arrested overnight on charges including attempted criminally negligent homicide, criminal possession of a weapon, assault, and possession of a fake ID, police said.
Authorities said Muflihi was also arrested on Jan. 12 for allegedly punching a 23-year-old Asian man in the head in Brooklyn.
Charges against Muflihi have been upgraded to a hate crime since there appears to be a pattern in the attack victims.
Authorities said the 36-year-old man, who lives in the neighborhood, was stabbed in the back around 6:15 p.m. Thursday near the corner of Worth Street and Baxter street, right by the federal courthouse.
Cops were called to the area after the alleged attacker walked up to a security guard at the nearby Manhattan district attorney’s office and said he had just stabbed someone, according to police.
The victim was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, where he was still listed in critical condition early Friday morning.
Police said that a butcher knife was recovered near the scene.
Hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers have been top of mind as of late, with the city and NYPD each vowing to renew focus on preventing them.
As of Feb. 21, there have been two anti-Asian attacks in New York City. In 2020, there were 28 anti-Asian attacks, up from three reported in 2019, according to police.