NYPD arrests 23-year-old woman in connection with a subway attack on cellist


The New York Police Department has arrested a 23-year-old woman in connection with a performer being attacked last month while playing his cello at a Manhattan subway station.

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

subway attack musician cello player @eyeglasses.stringmusic (@eyeglasses.stringmusic via Instagram)

subway attack musician cello player @eyeglasses.stringmusic (@eyeglasses.stringmusic via Instagram)

Hunter, who has had prior arrests involving domestic violence, petty larceny and grand larceny but no criminal convictions, pleaded not guilty and was ordered to cooperate with supervised release.

“The judge in this case was right to order supervised release for Ms. Hunter, as she has no prior criminal convictions,” Hunter’s lawyer, New York County Defender Services attorney Joseph Conza, said in a statement provided to NBC News. “People still deserve the presumption of innocence, even when video is released early on, because that is only a small part of the story. Other people have been exonerated despite early video footage for exactly that reason.”

Forrest addressed the developments in a video on Friday, saying he was “relieved and thankful” that the suspect was caught.

“You may see on the news that the suspect was released under supervision; rather than get mired in the complexities of bail reform, I want to focus on everyone staying safe and moving forward positively with music,” Forrest said.

Video that captured the incident showed a woman lingering at the station watching Forrest perform, before suddenly attacking him. Forrest, who is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s performing arts program Music Under New York, previously told NBC News that the incident prompted him to decide to stop playing in the NYC subway system. He also said he is in the process of forming a coalition to push for stronger protections for subway musicians.

The NYPD currently records information on reported attacks, but Forrest said he is pushing for more specific data to be collected.

“There’s just no tally or that simple counting and tracking of specifically musicians being attacked,” he said. “Once we have eyes on those trends, and you see, ‘OK, well look, it’s against solo musicians who are at 34th Street Herald Square at the evening rush hour.’ Once you have that information you can better give resources to prevent that from happening with the NYPD.”

Hunter is expected back in court on April 4 for a hearing.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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