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Man charged with hate crimes for stabbing two teens in Grand Central

A Bronx man faces attempted murder and assault charges as hate crimes after he used an anti-white slur before stabbing two teenage sisters at a Grand Central Terminal restaurant on Christmas Day, according to reports. officials and court records.

The girls, ages 16 and 14, were visiting New York from Paraguay and were with their parents at the restaurant in the terminal’s dining room around 11:30 a.m. when the attack occurred, officials said. the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Authorities identified the attacker as 36-year-old Steven Hutcherson. In a criminal complaint charging him, prosecutors identified the suspect as Esteban Esono-Asue, another name he uses.

After Mr. Esono-Asue entered the dining room of the Tartinery restaurant, an employee asked him to leave, according to the complaint.

Mr. Esono-Asue, according to the complaint, responded by saying, “I’m going to leave.” I don’t want the white man to catch you.

Mr. Esono-Asue, who is black, according to a police report about the attack, then asked a second employee to seat him at a table so he could place an order, the complaint says.

When the employee began to sit him down, according to the complaint, Mr. Esono-Asue hesitated.

“I don’t want to sit with black people,” he said, according to the complaint. “I want to sit with the crackers.”

Shortly after Mr. Esono-Asue sat down and was given water, according to the complaint, the second Tartinery employee saw him get up, approach a table where a family was sitting who appeared to be white, took a knife out of her pocket and stabbed one of the girls in the back.

As the family tried to flee, he stabbed the second girl in the leg, according to the complaint. Neither injury was life-threatening and the girls were taken to Bellevue Hospital, where the older sister was treated for a collapsed lung, according to officials and the complaint.

Tartinery management did not respond to electronic and telephone messages.

Mr. Esono-Asue was arraigned Tuesday evening in Manhattan Criminal Court, where a judge ordered him detained, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

He is awaiting sentencing in the Bronx in a case stemming from an episode in November. Initially charged with several minor crimes in the case, he pleaded guilty this month to a misdemeanor charge of assault.

A lawyer for the Legal Aid Society representing Mr. Esono-Asue in the Bronx case declined to comment. A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Manhattan case.

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