No Hate Crime For Grand Central Christmas Stabber: DA

NEW YORK CITY — The man accused of stabbing two teenage tourists inside Grand Central Terminal won’t face the hate crime he was originally charged with in the Christmas Day attack, prosecutors said.

Esteban Esonoasue, 36, who is also known as Steven Hutcherson, instead faces an attempted murder charge after an investigation found no evidence he actually made hateful remarks in the vicious attack, as was widely reported, a spokesperson told Patch.

But the charges a grand jury produced against Esonoasue — second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, among others — remain as serious as the holiday attack itself.

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“Two teenage tourists were seriously injured while enjoying their holiday trip to New York with their family, and a woman was attacked in the neck with a fork,” said Alvin Bragg, district attorney for Manhattan, in a statement.

“We don’t tolerate violence in our transit hubs and I wish the victims a speedy recovery.”

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Prosecutors originally charged Esonoasue with hate crime charges for his arraignment after the attack.

Several outlets reported that Esonoasue made statements against white people, but a spokesperson said prosecutors currently had no evidence he said any bias-motivated statements during the attack.

The knifing unfolded Christmas morning in the iconic station’s Dining Concourse, where Esonoasue had been milling about, court records state.

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Esonoasue then picked up a fork and scratched a woman’s neck before pulling out a knife, prosecutors said.

He walked up to a family of tourists visiting from Peru and stabbed a 16-year-old girl in the back, deeply puncturing her lung and diaphragm, authorities said. A 14-year-old girl tried to run off, prompting Esonoasue to stab her in the leg, officials said.

Prosecutors are continuing to investigate whether additional charges are appropriate, a spokesperson said.

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