No hate crime charge for suspect in Chinatown stabbing: officials

Manhattan

PIX11 News

The man arrested for stabbing an Asian will not face a hate crime charge for stabbing an Asian man in Chinatown in an apparently unprovoked attack, the Manhattan DA’s office announced Saturday.

The suspect, 23-year-old Salman Muflihi, of Bensonhurst, was initially arrested on charges including attempted criminally negligent homicide, criminal possession of a weapon, assault, and possession of a fake ID, police said.

The DA’s office has charged him with attempted murder and multiple counts of assault, but they are not recommending hate crime charges, with ADA Adam Johnson saying Muflihi stabbed his victim “for no reason at all.”

“We are continuing to investigate and may bring additional charges if warranted,” the DA’s office told PIX11 News Saturday.

If found guilty, Muflihi faces anywhere from 5 to 25 years in state prison.

“This case is every New Yorker’s worst nightmare, to be attacked by a complete and total stranger with a large knife for no reason at all,” said Johnson in a statement. “

Authorities said Muflihi was also arrested on Jan. 12 for allegedly punching a 23-year-old Asian man in the head in Brooklyn.

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 hospital and the DA’s office said Saturday that his injuries are substantial. His liver was punctured and he suffered major internal bleeding and that doctors removed one of his kidneys and his adrenaline gland. He is currently still in the hospital in critical condition and he may not survive.

Police said that a butcher knife was recovered near the scene.

The DA’s office said that after the attack, Muflihi walked into the DA’s Office at One Hogan Place and told security that he had just ‘stabbed a guy up the block.’ During his arrest processing, Muflihi stated that he stabbed the guy and that ‘if he dies, he dies. He doesn’t give a f–k.’”

Muflihi is being held on $500,000 bail, due to there being video evidence, eyewitnesses and a confession from the defendant in the case.

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.

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