By MARC SANTORA
A 31-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens and crushed by an oncoming train.
Uli Seit for The New York Times
Erika Menendez, 31, charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, was led out of the 112th Precinct in Queens on Saturday.
Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Police personnel patrolling the 40th Street-Lowery Street station on Friday, where a man was pushed in front of a 7 train.
The woman, Erika Menendez, selected her victim because she believed him to be a Muslim or a Hindu, Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said.
“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare: Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Mr. Brown said in an interview.
In a statement, Mr. Brown quoted Ms. Menendez, “in sum and substance,” as having told the police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.
The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu.
Mr. Sen “was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself,” Mr. Brown said. “Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions should never be tolerated by a civilized society.”
Mr. Brown said he had no information on the defendant’s criminal or mental history.
“It will be up to the court to determine if she is fit to stand trial,” he said.
Ms. Menendez is expected to be arraigned by Sunday morning. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. By charging her with murder as a hate crime, the possible minimum sentence she faced would be extended to 20 years from 15 years, according to prosecutors.
- Woman held for New York subway death (thehindu.com)
- Subway Pusher Erika Menendez ‘Cackled’ During Court Appearance (nymag.com)
- Man Pushed in Front of Queens Ny Train Was Not Muslim – Hindu Indian – This Is Twisted (bonjublog.com)
- NYC Woman Arrested For Pushing Man In Front Of Subway Train, Claims It Was “An Act Against Muslims” (outsidethebeltway.com)
- NY Man Pushed to His Death Because Killer Thought He was Muslim (theuglytruth.wordpress.com)
- Woman charged with murder in NY subway shove death, claims 9/11/01 was her motive (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Woman charged with ‘hate crime’ in US over Indian’s killing (thehindu.com)
- Prosecutor: NYC subway murder suspect blamed ‘Hindus and Muslims’ for 9-11 (rawstory.com)
- NY woman charged with hate-crime murder in subway push (worldbulletin.net)
- New York woman shoved a man in front of subway because she hated Muslims since 9/11 (rt.com)