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Cabbie Ahmed Sharif Moves To Buffalo A Year After Alleged Anti-Muslim Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A cabbie whose neck was slashed during an alleged anti-Muslim attack last year says he's mired in emotional and financial woes.

Ahmed Sharif has moved his family to Buffalo.

Sharif told the New York Post that he still drives a cab sometimes, but thinks of the 2010 attack in Manhattan whenever a passenger opens the door.

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His wife, Hazira Sharif, said, "...Our lives are a big mess.''

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Police said Michael Enright, of Brewster, N.Y., flew into a rage on Aug. 24, 2010 after asking Sharif if he was a Muslim.

"I'm driving. He asked me where I'm from. I said Bangladesh. Second question he ask me, are you Muslim? I said yes. Then he tells me 'assalamu alaikum,'" Sharif told CBS 2 last year.

Prosecutors said Enright then told Sharif to "consider this a checkpoint" and "I have to put you down."

Sharif said Enright then lunged through the cab partition with a Leatherman knife and the men struggled as the cab rolled for a block and a half in a busy commercial area on 40th Street and Third Avenue.

As the scuffle ensued, Sharif was able to keep Enright locked in the cab until he found a police officer to arrest him.

Michael Enright
Michael Enright (AP Photo/Steve Hirsch)

Sharif suffered a deep gash on his forearm, a defensive wound on his hand and slashes to his neck and upper lip.

Enright has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault as hate crimes.

Enright's lawyer says the School of Visual Arts student was beset by alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder after a trip to Afghanistan.

Enright's arrest came amid debate over a planned Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero, a subject that became a political flash point in the weeks before the ninth anniversary of the 2001 attacks.

Do you think it's safer to be a cabbie outside of New York City? Sound off below... 

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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