MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — The 19-year-old girl accused of stabbing a Vietnam veteran during a brawl on the subway earlier this month has been released on $15,000 bond after prosecutors requested more time for grand jury action.
Starmeik Driggins, 19, allegedly swung the knife during a melee on a southbound 6 train near 23rd Street that left Ralph Carnegary, 63, with a stab wound in his shoulder, prosecutors said.
But during a brief court hearing Friday, Driggins' lawyer, Ikiesha Al-Shabazz, said Carnegary had the knife — and he was the aggressor. He punched Driggins after she came to the defense of her friend, Sheyla Figueroa, whom Carnegary had kicked in the stomach, Al-Shabbaz added.
"If there was a struggle, he may have stabbed himself with his own knife," said Al-Shabazz after the appearance.
Four other young women, including Figueroa, were charged last Monday in the fight, which erupted after the friends were headed home to Brooklyn from a party July 28. Prosecutors, however, fingered Driggins as the attacker and hit her with felony assault charges.
None of the young women have been indicted for the charges.
Carnegary has said the women attacked him after he complained to a friend that the group was being too rowdy.
According to a criminal complaint, an unidentified witness held back "shouting and cursing" girls who were trying to pummel Carnegary as the train was pulling into the 23rd Street station.
Figueroa, who was also in court Friday, told reporters Carnegary assaulted them. When the girls fled the train at 23rd street, Carnegary was "swinging the knife" behind them, she said.
Driggins is due back in court in October while Figueroa has an August court date.