,The New York Times reports that the man who stabbed two teenage sisters in Grand Central Terminal on Christmas Day had encountered the police at least 15 times this year, frightened his ex-girlfriend’s family into seeking a restraining order and recently was taken to a Bronx hospital for psychological evaluation, according to police records. On Tuesday, Manhattan prosecutors charged the man, Steven Hutcherson, 36, with attempted murder and assault as hate crimes on Tuesday. The stabbings are a grim reminder of the failures of the governmental safety net and city and state agencies, which often miss chances to prevent violence and have been shielded by state laws that hide those failures.
Court documents show that Mr. Hutcherson — identified in the criminal complaint as Esteban Esono-Asue, another name he uses — used an anti-white slur before attacking the 14- and 16-year-old girls, who had been sitting with their parents in a cafe. Interviews and police records obtained by The New York Times showed that in the months leading up to the attack, there had been numerous reports that Hutcherson had committed violent acts or reported that he had been the victim of violence. On Nov. 7, Hutcherson was charged in the Bronx with assault and harassment for threatening a man’s life. In another incident that month, he was standing on a Bronx fire escape, shouting, according to the police records. On Dec. 5, police received a call reporting that Mr. Hutcherson was irate and acting erratically. His ex-girlfriend, Charisma Knight, 37, said in an interview on Wednesday that because Hutcherson would not leave her family alone, she had called 911 seven times, warning that he had serious mental-health concerns.