23-year-old Woman Arrested By Nypd For Assaulting Cellist In Subway

A 23-year-old woman has been apprehended by the New York Police Department in relation to an assault on a musician who was playing his cello at a subway station in Manhattan last month.

Amira Hunter was arrested and charged with assault on Wednesday, according to the NYPD. The Brooklyn resident’s arrest came after Iain Forrest, a 29-year-old electric cellist known as “Eyeglasses,” was hit in the back of the head with a metal water bottle while performing at the 34th Street Herald Square station in mid-February.

Hunter, who has a history of previous arrests related to domestic violence, petty larceny, and grand larceny but no criminal convictions, entered a plea of not guilty. As part of the court’s decision, Hunter was ordered to comply with supervised release.

Ms. Hunter’s lawyer, Joseph Conza from the New York County Defender Services, commended the judge’s decision to grant supervised release for his client. He emphasized that Ms. Hunter had no previous criminal record, highlighting the importance of presuming innocence. Mr. Conza pointed out that early video footage can only provide a limited perspective and that other individuals have been exonerated despite such evidence.

In a video posted on Friday, Forrest talked about what had happened and said that he was “relieved and thankful” that the suspect had been caught.

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“You may have seen on the news that the suspect was released under supervision. I don’t want to get into the details of bail reform; I just want everyone to stay safe and make progress with music,” Forrest said.

A video of the attack showed that a woman lingered at the station and watched Forrest act before attacking him out of the blue. Forrest, who is in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Music Under New York performing arts program, told NBC News that the event made him decide not to play in the NYC subway system anymore. He also said that he is putting together a group to fight for better rights for subway musicians.

Forrest is pushing for the collection of more specific data in addition to the information on reported attacks currently recorded by the NYPD.

“We don’t have a specific record or a straightforward way of keeping track of musicians who have been targeted,” he explained. “If we were able to identify certain patterns, such as solo musicians being attacked at 34th Street Herald Square during evening rush hour, it would enable us to allocate resources more effectively and prevent such incidents from happening with the help of the NYPD.”

Hunter has a hearing scheduled for April 4 in court.

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