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Long Island man charged with kidnapping his Queens Village girlfriend, threatening to kill her: DA

Oct. 17, 2023 By Bill Parry

A Long Island man was criminally charged with kidnapping and the unlawful imprisonment of his girlfriend in her Queens Village apartment in August, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Herman Brightman, 30, of Branch Avenue in Central Islip, is accused of threatening his 28-year-old girlfriend with a knife during her ordeal and Katz is urging other women who Brightman dated and might have victimized to contact her office as the investigation remains ongoing.

Brightman was arraigned Oct. 17 in Queens Supreme Court 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.

According to the charges, On Aug. 7, Brightman and a woman he had met months earlier through the dating app Hinge got into an argument at the woman’s Queens Village 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,” according to the charges. Brightman then 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 before he taped the victim’s mouth shut, bound her wrists behind her back and demanded she sit in a corner of the room, according to the charges.

She managed to escape, according to Katz, who noted that Brightman had used the alias Nazir Griffiths.

“The defendant terrorized his girlfriend in her own home. Wielding a knife, he threatened to gut her; he threatened to kill her,” Katz said. “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.”

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

Katz is urging victims of domestic violence to call her office’s Domestic Violence Helpline at 718-266-4410.

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