What to Know
- A New Jersey man is accused as posing as a nurse online and on dating apps in order to help him meet women, then kidnapping and assaulting those me met up with across the New York City area, according to prosecutors
- Herman Brightman was indicted on eight counts including kidnapping, cyberstalking, interstate travel to commit domestic violence and more; His alleged attacks spanned from New Jersey to Mount Vernon, New York, including incidents in Queens and the Bronx.
- Not long after he started dating some of the women, Brightman quickly became violent, especially if they tried to end the relationship; the indictment stated that he “brutalized” at least four women
A New Jersey man is accused of posing as a nurse online and on dating apps in order to help him meet women, then kidnapping and assaulting those me met up with across the New York City area, according to prosecutors.
Herman Brightman was indicted on eight counts including kidnapping, cyberstalking, interstate travel to commit domestic violence and more, said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams on Monday. His alleged attacks spanned from New Jersey to Mount Vernon, New York, including incidents in Queens and the Bronx.
From Jan. 2022 until around Sept. 2023, Brightman used the alias “Nazir Griffiths” or “Nazir Luckett” on sites like Facebook and the dating app Hinge as he looked to meet and date women, according to the indictment. Along with his alias, Brightman would state that he was a nurse or nurse practitioner in NYC-area hospitals, and included photos or videos of himself wearing medical scrubs or lab coats to reinforce the alleged lie. He would even go so far as creating fake IDs for himself, prosecutors said.
Not long after he started dating some of the women, Brightman quickly became violent toward them, especially if they tried to end the relationship. The indictment unsealed Monday stated that in the 21-month period, he “brutalized” at least four women.
“For over a year, Herman Brightman preyed upon woman after woman using the internet to lure these women into meeting and dating him and posing as a nurse or nurse practitioner to gain their trust. He then quickly became physically abusive towards them, going so far as to kidnap the women at knifepoint and threaten to kill them,” said Williams. “Today’s charges put a stop to this abusive and violent behavior.”
During July 2022, Brightman went to New York to force a woman at knifepoint — along with her child — to go back with him to his West New York home after she had ended their relationship, according to prosecutors. He allegedly threatened to kill the woman if she “made any problems,” and literally held onto her for the whole night to stop her from escaping.
The woman was able to escape the next morning and contacted police after she convinced Brightman to leave the home for a short time.
More than a year later, in Aug. 2023, Brightman attacked another woman whom he had been dating, holding her at knifepoint at her home while threatening to “gut” her “like a fish,” the indictment stated. The woman’s hands were kept bound and Brightman tried to tape her mouth.
A week after that incident, the woman ended their relationship — and in the day that followed, Brightman called her more than 20 times, including from private blocked numbers. During one of those calls, he threatened to harm her, prosecutors said.
A month later, Brightman went to the Bronx and lured a third woman he had been dating to come to his car. He forced her to call the woman he had threatened in August, according to prosecutors. He then punched the third victim in the arm, and when she tried to escape, Brightman allegedly put her in a chokehold. She was able to break free and get into her building to call police.
Brightman confronted that same woman at her job just days later, repeatedly asking her if she had called police. Afterward, he followed her home to attack her again, this time throwing a traffic cone at her, the indictment stated.
Later that month, Brightman went to the Bronx and convinced another woman who had dumped him to let him in her home. Once inside, Brightman assaulted and strangled her, prosecutors allege, leaving her with bruising on her neck. He threatened to kill her and attempted to rape her, according to the indictment, before she was able to escape thanks to the help of a friend.
“The men and women of the NYPD condemn these deeply disturbing and heinous acts allegedly committed by a serial predator,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban.
The three counts of kidnapping Brightman faces each carry minimum sentences of 20 years in prison, as well as an addition 25 years from the lesser charges. A defense attorney for the 30-year-old did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The superintendent for the building where Brightman lives said he recognized Brightman from the photos and talked to the police about him in November. The super said that he has changed the locks to the building and Brightman no longer lives there.
Anyone who may have been victimized by Brightman or has additional information about his illegal alleged behavior is asked to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York at 1-866-874-8900.