2 teen tourists stabbed at Grand Central; suspect charged with attempted murder as hate crime

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Suspect in attack on 2 teen tourists faces attempted murder charges
Sonia Rincon has more on the charges against 36-year-old Steven Hutcherson.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man is now facing attempted murder as a hate crime after two teen girls, both visiting from South America, were stabbed Christmas morning while eating in Grand Central Terminal.

The victims, two sisters ages 14 and 16, were attacked as they ate with their parents at Tartinery in the Grand Central Dining Concourse just before 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Police say the suspect, identified as 36-year-old Steven Hutcherson, flew into a rage when Tartinery staff told him he couldn't sit near the girls. According to police, he pulled out a knife and stabbed each of them, shouting, "I want all the white people dead."

The 16-year-old girl was stabbed in the back and suffered a collapsed lung. The 14-year-old was stabbed in the thigh. They were both taken to Bellevue Hospital where they are still recovering.

MTA police responded in less than 30 seconds, after running over from their posts. Hutcherson put the knife down and surrendered.

He has been charged with felony counts of attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first and second degree, and attempted assault in the first degree -- all as hate crimes. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Detectives returned to Grand Central exactly 24 hours after the attack, and interviewed the waiter who served the teens, moments before they were stabbed.

Off-camera, he told Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett that the man looked disheveled and unstable.

The suspect is known to both MTA police and NYPD as an emotionally disturbed person with 17 prior arrests.

Hutcherson was arrested twice in the last six months. The latest arrest came just last month after Hutcherson threatened someone with a knife.

He pleaded guilty in both his Nov. 7 and July 24 weapons possession arrests. He received a 15-day sentence in the first, and the second was a conditional discharge, which occurred at his residence. He also was issued a temporary restraining order against his victim.

In several other arrests, he displayed a handle of a firearm, but no guns were ever recovered.

Mayor Adams has made identifying and removing the dangerously mentally ill a priority of his administration and has claimed, recently, that there are fewer on the streets and in the transit system, but he admitted on Tuesday that this latest incident will make many people feel less safe.

"Any time you have incidents in these high profile locations, it sends the feeling of people don't feel safe, that's why we have to make sure we zero in, make the arrests as soon as possible and make sure we get those repeat offenders off the streets," Adams said.

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AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

Tourists that spoke to Eyewitness News said they were largely unconcerned.

"It's not really a thing that I was worried about," said a tourist from Switzerland.

"It doesn't faze me because, I guess, it's New York," said Connecticut resident Lori Agati. "This kind of thing happens, you know? It's unfortunate."


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