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Bail set at half million dollars for suspect in NY cabbie stabbing

By the CNN Wire Staff
Michael Enright pleaded not guilty last month in the August attack on a New York cab driver.
Michael Enright pleaded not guilty last month in the August attack on a New York cab driver.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defendant Michael Enright's bail is set at $500,000
  • If he is freed on bail, he must wear a monitoring bracelet and surrender his passport
  • Enright is accused of stabbing a cab driver after asking the driver if he was Muslim
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New York (CNN) -- Bail was set Wednesday at $500,000 for a New York film student accused of slashing a cab driver's throat after asking the driver if he was Muslim.

Michael Enright pleaded not guilty last month in the August attack, and the judge said then he would wait to set bail for Enright until he was medically cleared from Bellvue Hospital Center's psychiatric ward, where he was ordered for mental evaluation in early September.

The Manhattan district attorney's office said if bail is made, Enright must wear a monitoring bracelet and surrender his passport as well as adhere to an 8 p.m. curfew.

Enright is facing charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the August 24 incident, according to New York police.

Cab driver Ahmed Sharif survived the attack. The Taxi Workers Alliance said Sharif, 43, a practicing Muslim originally from Bangladesh, was slashed across the neck, face, shoulder and hand. Bleeding profusely, Sharif escaped and flagged down a police officer, who arrested Enright.

Authorities said Enright was intoxicated at the time of the incident; they found an empty bottle of scotch in a backpack he had with him.

The attack occurred amid public debate over plans to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque to be called Park51 two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Enright, 21, was a film student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

People who know him described him after his arrest as someone who worked to build bridges across religious and ethnic boundaries. They were "shocked and dumbfounded," said Robert Chase, executive director of Intersections International.

Enright volunteered with the nonprofit group, which partially funded a trip he took in the spring to Afghanistan. As part of his thesis, Enright shot a film on American soldiers serving there, Chase said.

CNN's Marina Landis contributed to this report.