Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Herman Brightman was charged today with threatening to kill his girlfriend with a knife, binding her wrists and taping her mouth shut. The investigation is ongoing and District Attorney Katz is urging other women Brightman dated and victimized to contact her office.

District Attorney Katz said: “The defendant terrorized his girlfriend in her own home. Wielding a knife, he threatened to gut her; he threatened to kill her. She is fortunate to have escaped with her life. I urge women who may have been victimized by the defendant, or need safety planning services, or help in securing an order of protection or shelter placement, to call our 24-hour domestic violence hotline.”

The district attorney also noted that Brightman has used the alias Nazir Griffiths. She added that her office’s DV Helpline number is (718) 286-4410.

Brightman, 30, of Branch Avenue in Central Islip, was arraigned today on a seven-count indictment charging him with kidnapping in the second degree; unlawful imprisonment in the first degree; criminal mischief in the third degree; menacing in the second degree; unlawful imprisonment in the second degree; criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; and criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

If convicted, Brightman faces up to 25 years in prison. Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Yavinsky ordered him to come back to court on November 28.

According to the charges:

  • On August 7, Brightman and a woman he had met months earlier through the dating app Hinge got into an argument at the woman’s home. Brightman threw the woman’s computer monitor on the floor, shattering the screen.
  • Brightman told the woman to sit on her bed while he went into the kitchen and got a knife. He then chopped her cell phone with the knife.
  • He climbed on top of the woman, poked her with the tip of the knife, placed his hands on her mouth and threatened to gut her. He asked her which part of her body she wanted him to cut first.
  • Brightman told her to turn up the music that was playing and looked through a window to check for neighbors. He then told the woman that he was going to kill her.
  • He taped the woman’s mouth shut, bound her wrists behind her back and demanded she sit in a corner of the room.

Assistant District Attorney Marina Shew of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Audra Beerman and Howard McCallum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and Assistant District Attorney Mary Kate Quinn, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Special Prosecutions Joyce. A. Smith.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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