US man gets 9 years jail term for hate crime
New York: An American man has been sentenced to nine and half years in jail for stabbing a Bangladeshi taxi driver in 2010 here after asking whether he was Muslim.
Michael Enright pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the second degree as a hate crime and assault in the first degree as a hate crime, the New York Supreme Court clerk`s office said.
Enright, 24, was sentenced on Tuesday.
In addition to his prison term, he must serve five years of post-release supervision, the clerk`s office was quoted as saying by CNN.
"This was a horrendous crime against an innocent New Yorker. The victim, a native of Bangladesh and the father of four children, has been working and living in our diverse city for nearly three decades. There is no place for bigotry in New York City," District Attorney Cyrus Vance said at Enright`s guilty plea proceeding.
The taxi driver, Ahmed Sharif, suffered slashes across the neck, face, shoulder and hand in the August 2010 attack, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said.
Prosecutors originally recommended 18 years in jail for Enright. The minimum sentence is eight years, according to his lawyer.
According to Bhairavi Desai of the Taxi Workers Alliance, Enright, then 21, allegedly began conversing with Sharif before asking whether he was Muslim.
Enright then cursed and allegedly shouted, "Assalamu alaikum, consider this a checkpoint."
Sharif was then stabbed.
Bleeding profusely, he stumbled out of his taxi and managed to flag down a police officer who arrested Enright, the union representative said.
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