The Manhattan woman charged with stabbing a transgender black man in a racially-charged Christmas night subway attack acted in self-defense, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Stephanie Pazmino, 30, is accused of cutting up Ijan Jarrett, 44, on a No. 4 train in East Harlem Sunday after declaring that she didn’t want to “sit next to black people,” sources said.
But Pazmino’s lawyer Elsie Chandler told a Manhattan Criminal Court judge that the homeless assailant resorted to violence only after Jarrett “tried to take out her eyes with his nails and fingers.”
In making her point, Chandler gestured toward a mark near Pazmino’s right eye.
Pazmino “acted only in self-defense,” Chandler said. “This was an unfortunate incident on the subway at Christmas time where lots of people lose their tempers.”
Pazmino lives in a shelter for women with psychiatric problems, her lawyer said.
Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant set Pazmino’s bail at $4,000 cash/$7,500 bond. She’s charged with assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon.
Pazmino slashed the victim with a “sharp object used for cleaning fingernails,” according to the criminal complaint.
Jarrett told the Daily News he was heading home from the New Jersey hair salon where he works when he offered his seat to Pazmino.
Pazmino refused, but Jarrett got up anyway so that she could sit beside her friend.
Jarrett said that Pazmino started attacking him without warning just after she stood to exit the train.
He suffered stab wounds to his face, hand and arm.