NYC career criminal slashes man after he was freed for a prior attack

The assault comes amid a surge in subway crime

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FIRST ON FOX: A violent career criminal allegedly slashed a stranger in the face on the subway Sunday after he was released without bail for a similar attack on a woman in Brooklyn, Fox News Digital has learned.

Brendan Dowling, 40, allegedly walked up to a 41-year-old man sitting on the J train and sliced open his face at about 8:30 a.m. March 6, as the subway car neared the Lower East Side station.

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It was Dowling's sixth arrest since he was released without bail in October after pleading guilty to attempted assault for slashing a woman in the head in Dec. 2020 in downtown Brooklyn, according to police and prosecutors.

 It wasn't immediately clear why he was sprung from jail on the Brooklyn case, but he faces a mandatory minimum of 3 ½ years in prison when he's sentenced, court records show. 

At Dowling's arraignment Monday in Manhattan criminal court, he was ordered held on $50,000 cash over $100,000 bond on charges of first-degree attempted assault and second-degree assault.

Manhattan prosecutors said they were probing whether the slashing was motivated by anti-Asian bias. It was the latest in a string of vicious assaults on straphangers. 

NYC POLICE REPORT 6 SUBWAY STABBINGS, 2 ATTACKS WITH HATCHET, PIPE AS ZERO TOLERANCE PLAN TAKES EFFECT

Transit crimes surged 184% from Feb. 28 to March 6 compared to the same period in 2021, according to newly released data from New York Police Department. In the prior week, subway crime had surged 205% compared to the same period in 2021. 

Fox News Digital was the first to report that anti-Asian hate crime complaints had skyrocketed by a staggering 343% from 2020 to 2021.

Denzel Hodge was arrested for stabbing subway riders in separate incidents.

Denzel Hodge was arrested for stabbing subway riders in separate incidents. (DCPI)

Another man, Denzel Hodge, was nabbed March 4 in Brooklyn and held without bail for allegedly stabbing two subway riders in separate incidents and assaulting a third person.

He is accused of plunging a knife into the back of a 77-year-old woman at about 8:10 a.m. March 1 in Cypress Hills Brooklyn in an unprovoked attack. Last month, he allegedly punched a 20-year-old woman in the head then stabbed her repeatedly in the stomach at a different Brooklyn subway station.

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Last weekend at least seven straphangers were assaulted, including a man who narrowly escaped an assailant swinging an ax, according to the New York Post.

The spike in subway violence comes after Mayor Eric Adams launched a program on Feb. 21 to remove the mentally ill and homeless from the transit system and connect them with services.

During a press conference announcing the Subway Safety Plan, he acknowledged that many New Yorkers no longer feel safe on the subway.

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"We are going to ensure that fear is not New York’s reality," Adams said.

Attorneys for Dowling and Hodge didn't immediately return requests for comment.