NYC Subway

Woman arrested for smashing bottle on NYC subway performer — then released hours later

The Feb. 13 incident was captured on video

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What to Know

  • A medical student and electric cellist with the stage name Eyeglasses was randomly attacked while performing at the Herald Square subway station
  • The incident occurred at 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13 and it was caught on video
  • A woman was arrested in the caught-on-camera bottle attack and was charged with assault — but was released without bail hours later

A woman was arrested in the caught-on-camera bottle attack on a Herald Square musician as he performed for the evening rush crowd earlier this month, the NYPD said — but she was then released without bail hours later.

Amira Hunter, of Brooklyn, was charged Thursday with assault in the Feb. 13 attack at the midtown transit hub. It wasn't clear if she had an attorney.

Even though she allegedly committed a violent crime that is bail eligible, and despite the district attorney requesting she be held on bail, the judge on Thursday released her without it.

Hunter has previous arrests for petit larceny, for which she has failed to show up in court multiple times.

"This was on film, a random attack against an individual. She goes gets arraigned — and is walking right back out on the street without a consequence, without spending a few nights in jail," said former NYPD chief Terry Monahan. "It may be two three years now before this case gets resolved."

Police allege Hunter is the woman seen on video smacking Iain Forrest in the back of his head with his metal water bottle. Video shows the woman leaning on a column at the 34th Street station while looking at her phone, then putting her phone in her bag and marching behind Forrest. She grabs his metal water bottle and whacks him forcefully.

“I just felt in the middle of the performance some terrible collision in the back of my head,” Forrest, a medical student and electric cellist with the stage name Eyeglasses, recalled.

The “Music Under New York” member said he didn’t know what had caused “a lot of pain” and was disoriented.

He also said it wasn't the first time he'd been attacked in transit. Forrest says someone tried to steal his instrument when he was performing in Times Square within the last year.

“I don’t think I can do this anymore,” he announced on his Instagram two days of the latest attack. “I’m suspending subway performances indefinitely.”

While the MTA doesn’t log specific numbers of assaults on musicians in subway stations, Forrest says he believes tracking those numbers and diverting resources can help prevent future attacks.

“If you talk to any of these musicians, they’ll tell you something similar happened to them. They got assaulted. They got attacked, harassed,” Forrest said.

The musician has been entertaining locals and tourists in subway stations for nearly a decade. He also performed the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden last December.

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