Man pushed to his death in New York subway murder

Sat, Dec 29, 2012, 00:00

A New York City man has been pushed to his death in front of a subway train in the Sunnyside neighbourhood of Queens, police said, in the second such fatality this month.

The victim was sent tumbling onto the tracks into the path of a No 7 train shortly after 8pm yesterday at the subway stop at Queens Boulevard and 40th Street, said Paul Browne, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department.

Police have tentatively identified the victim as a 46-year-old man who lived in Queens and worked in a printing business. He had no family in New York, police said. The man’s body remained under the train for at least two hours after the incident while police investigated, said Lieut John Grimpel, a police spokesman.

Woman suspect

Detectives are searching for the suspect and have a video of a woman running from the subway stop, according to the police.

The suspect is a heavy-set Hispanic woman in her 20s, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall with brown or blonde hair, Browne said. She was wearing a blue, white and grey ski coat and Nike shoes that were grey on top with red soles.

Witnesses said the woman was walking back and forth on the platform, talking to herself, police said. She took a seat alone on a wooden bench near the north end of the platform, and when the train pulled into the station, stood up and approached the victim from behind and pushed him.

“The victim appeared not to notice her, according to witnesses,” Mr Browne said in a statement. “He was struck by the first of the 11-car train, with his body pinned under the front of the second car as the train came to a stop.”

The suspect fled down two separate staircases to the street. The 40th Street-Lowery Street station is just six stops east of midtown Manhattan. Its narrow eastbound platform, elevated two stories above the street, is packed at rush-hour with exiting commuters forced to slowly funnel down stairwells past riders waiting to board trains.

‘Urban nightmare’

“It’s the urban nightmare,” Browne said, adding that the two incidents in one month didn’t indicate that there was a “trend,” referring to the December 3rd death of a man pushed onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train in Manhattan.

In the Manhattan incident, at the Times Square station, Naeem Davis, 30, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Ki-Suck, according to the Associated Press. Davis said he was coaxed into shoving Han onto the tracks by voices in his head he couldn’t control, according to the New York Post.

The NYPD announced this week that there were 414 murders in New York City through December 23rd, a 19 per cent decrease from last year and fewer than the previous low of 471 in 2009.  (Bloomberg)