NYC Woman Arrested For Pushing Man In Front Of Subway Train, Claims It Was “An Act Against Muslims”
For the second time in less than a month, a man died after being pushed in front of an oncoming New York City subway train, only this time there’s a twist:
A 31-year-old woman was being held by the police on Saturday, authorities said, in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of a Queens subway station and crushed by an oncoming train.
The woman, Erica Menendez of the Bronx, will be charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, according to a person in the Queens district attorney’s office. When Ms. Menendez was taken into custody by police early Saturday morning, she made comments implicating herself in the crime when questioned by detectives, according to Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Departme.nt.
A law enforcement official said that Ms. Menendez had “told the cops it was an act against Muslims,” and cited the Sept. 11 attacks. The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu.
Law enforcement officials would not comment on Ms. Menendez’s mental health.
The attack occurred around 8 p.m. on Thursday at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station in Sunnyside.
Mr. Sen was peering out over the tracks when a woman approached him from behind and shoved him onto the tracks, the police said. Mr. Sen never saw her, the police said, and had no time to react.
The woman fled the station, running down two flights of stairs and down the street.
By the next morning, a grainy black-and-white video of the woman who the police said was behind the attack was being broadcast on news programs.
It was not a lot to go on. The video was blurry and only a few seconds long.
Patrol officers picked up Ms. Menendez early Saturday after someone who had seen the video on television spotted her on a Brooklyn street and called 911, Mr. Browne said. She was taken to Queens and later placed in lineups, according to detectives
My feelings about so-called “hate crimes” have always been rather ambiguous. On the one hand, I don’t agree with the idea that the reason someone commits a horrible crime should be a crime in itself. That comes far to close to “thought crime” for my comfort. On the other hand, I fully understand and largely support the idea that the fact that a crime was motivated by racial, ethnic, or religious bias should stand as a sentencing enhancement. That’s a public policy choice that state legislatures are fully within their rights and powers to make. In this particular case, we still don’t know if this woman is nuts, or if the victim was even Muslim, but I wouldn’t have much of a problem with her spending the rest of her life in prison.