Chinatown stabbing suspect ‘didn’t like the way’ victim looked at him

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) — A 23-year-old Brooklyn man was charged with stabbing an Asian man in the back because he “didn’t like the way he looked at him.”

Salman Muflihi pulled an eight-inch knife and stabbed his 36-year-old victim, walking on Worth Street next to the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse at around 6:20 p.m. Thursday night.

Muflihi ran to a security guard outside the nearby Manhattan district attorney’s office building on Hogan Place, telling the guard, “I just stabbed someone. Where are the police at?”

He was charged with attempted criminally negligent homicide, assault, forgery, and criminal possession of a weapon.

He told detectives he stabbed the victim “because he didn’t like the way he looked at him.”

The 36-year-old victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

He was walking home at the time of the attack.

Muflihi has three prior three prior arrests for assaults. He appeared emotionally disturbed.

The Asian Hate Crimes Task Force was brought into the investigation but the stabbing is not currently being investigated as a bias crime.

Community members said they were outraged and angry after the latest attack on an Asian New Yorker.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials spoke out earlier this week about the city’s renewed effort to confront hate crimes against Asians.

“Every community suffered, but there’s been a particular pain, a particular horrible challenge, faced by the Asian American community,” de Blasio said. “Because on top of all the suffering from the coronavirus itself, on top of losing loved ones losing businesses, people have had to confront horrible discrimination and hatred.”

The Asian Hate Crime Task Force is focusing on the entire city, but they will pay particular attention to the subways after a rash of incident in the transit system.
Community leaders say the incident is just another reason why the task force should be funded and staffed with full-time officers.

“You need to be able to give them the resources that they need to help focus on solving the problem,” community advocate Jenny Low said. “I believe they have very good officers who are well-trained to do that. But a volunteer gig is still a volunteer gig.”

RELATED | Mayor de Blasio says Asian Hate Crime Task Force working to combat slew of bias crimes in NYC

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