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Homeless NYC woman, 23, who smacked subway station cellist over head with metal water bottle is RELEASED

A homeless woman suspected of brutally attacking a cellist in a New York City subway station will be released back onto the streets.

Amira Hunter, 23, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the Feb. 13 attack on Iain Forrest, 29, a medical student who was playing his electric cello at the 34th Street Herald Square Station.

She appeared before the New York Supreme Court on Thursday, wearing a beige jacket with a fur collar and dark jeans, where Judge Marva Brown released her under supervised release. Forrest was not present at the hearing.

The judge cited her lack of a significant criminal history — despite seven prior arrests — for releasing her on a second-degree assault charge.

In the shocking incident captured on video, a woman, believed to be Hunter, walked up to him, grabbed the metal water bottle Forrest had placed on the ground and smashed it over his head while he played Titanium by Sia.

The bottle clattered to the ground as he held his head in pain, leaving the musician fearing for his life. He believes the subway is too dangerous to continue performing.

Amira Hunter, 23, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the Feb. 13 attack on Iain Forrest, 29, at a New York City subway stop. She was released on Thursday after appearing in court

Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Alexandra Roberston told the court Thursday that the case will go before a grand jury next week.

She asked the judge to set bail at $50,000 because the suspect was charged with a violent crime.

“The cellist was playing before the defendant came from behind and punched him in the back of the head without provocation,” Roberston told the court.

‘It caused swelling and pain at the back of his head.’

But defense attorney Joseph Conza said, “I ask the court to consider supervised release for my client.”

Roberston told the judge that a restraining order was not necessary because the victim and Hunter were strangers, prompting an outburst from the suspect.

“That was no stranger,” she shouted. ‘What the f****.’

Outside the courtroom, she told reporters she knew the victim but did not know why she unleashed the attack.

Judge Brown ordered her supervised release and she was told to report to a shelter. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.

The judge cited her lack of a significant criminal history — despite seven prior arrests — for releasing her on second-degree assault charges.

The judge cited her lack of a significant criminal history — despite seven prior arrests — for releasing her on second-degree assault charges.

Her attorney told the judge that a restraining order was not necessary because the victim and Hunter were strangers, prompting an outburst from the suspect.  “That was no stranger,” she shouted.  ¿What the f****¿

Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Alexandra Roberston told the court Thursday that the case against Hunter will go before a grand jury next week.

Her attorney told the judge that a restraining order was not necessary because the victim and Hunter were strangers, prompting an outburst from the suspect. “That was no stranger,” she shouted. ‘What the f****’

The cellist who was hit in the head with a water bottle by a stranger last week while performing on the New York City subway says he's done performing on platforms

The cellist who was hit in the head with a water bottle by a stranger last week while performing on the New York City subway says he’s done performing on platforms

Forrest announced on Instagram on Sunday that he has formed a coalition with his fellow musicians, the Subway Performers Advocacy Group, but says he will no longer entertain underground for the time being.

“It breaks my heart that this is something that has to stop indefinitely, barring some sort of systemic change with protections for subway performances,” he said.

The group’s goal is to ask the MTA and NYPD to keep statistics on crimes against subway musicians so that police resources can be “smartly deployed where they are needed to prevent attacks.”

Forrest told the New York Daily News that he didn’t understand what exactly happened to him until the attacker literally hit him.

‘I couldn’t quite get my bearings and it wasn’t until I saw my metal water bottle rolling on the ground and I saw the face of the crowd – one of awe, disbelief and shock – that I realised: I think someone just bashed the back of my head with my metal water bottle,” he said.

Police released a video of the suspected attacker to help find the suspect. Hunter, who lives in Brooklyn, was arrested later Wednesday.

She had seven previous arrests, including for domestic violence, two for petit larceny and one for grand larceny, authorities said.

Forrest was playing electric cello in a Manhattan subway station when he was hit in the head with a metal water bottle

Forrest was playing electric cello in a Manhattan subway station when he was hit in the head with a metal water bottle

The medical student and performer was attacked at the 34th Street Herald Square Station on the evening of February 13

Forrest said the woman fled the station and fled to a nearby Macy's, evading NYPD officers

The medical student and performer was attacked at the 34th Street Herald Square Station on the evening of February 13. Forrest said the suspect fled the station and fled to a nearby Macy’s, evading NYPD officers

Video of the attack and the suspect were released and Hutner was arrested about two weeks after the attack

Video of the attack and the suspect were released and Hutner was arrested about two weeks after the attack

Forrest is concerned that he can no longer perform on the subway without worrying his loved ones.

‘I have a wife. “I have family and friends who care about me and I don’t know what they would do if I was gone,” he said.

The incident marked the second time he was attacked during a performance in the past year.

A man beat and strangled him and broke the battery of his electric cello before making off with both his money and the instrument last May.

Rendell Robinson, 40, was arrested and charged with theft and remains in a cell on Rikers Island in connection with the case, which is still pending.

Forrest said the MTA assigned a police officer to watch over him for a month or two after the attack, but that eventually stopped.

“That’s happened too many times, and it’s almost normalized as an acceptable ‘risk’ for this occupation,” he said. “I think this is something that needs to be highlighted and tracked more closely in terms of the numbers and where these things are happening.”

Forrest wrote on X that the woman fled the station and fled to a nearby Macy’s, where she evaded city police.

“This is the second attack I have suffered in less than a year while performing for New Yorkers in subway stations,” the artist wrote on social media.

‘I don’t think I can do this anymore. I am suspending subway performances indefinitely.”

He was treated for his first seizure at Mount Sinai, the same hospital where he attended medical school.

“No one in the transit system, including musicians, should be subjected to violence, and when the NYPD catches up with the person who committed this senseless attack, they will be held accountable,” the Metropolitan Transit Authority wrote in a statement.

The incident marked the second time Forrest said he was attacked while performing in the past year

The incident marked the second time Forrest said he was attacked while performing in the past year

Outside the courtroom, Hunter told reporters she knew the victim but did not know why she unleashed the attack

Outside the courtroom, Hunter told reporters she knew the victim but did not know why she unleashed the attack

Forrest is a member of the MTA’s Music Under New York program, which schedules music performances at transit hubs throughout the city.

He performs under the name ‘Eyeglasses’ and plays covers for electric cello in addition to writing his own music.

The musician was discovered while playing on the subway and gave a debut performance at Radio City Music Hall in 2020 with singer-songwriter Josh Groban.

Two years later, the 29-year-old performed at the New York Yankees’ opening game at Yankee Stadium.

In addition to his musical pursuits, Forrest is completing an MD-PhD at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai after receiving his doctorate in May.