UK & World News

  • 30 December 2012, 10:46

New York Subway Death: Woman Charged

A woman who told police in New York City that she shoved a man in front of an oncoming subway train has been charged with murder as a hate crime, prosecutors have said.

Erika Menendez, from the Bronx, was motivated by hatred of Muslims and Hindus, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office.

An NYPD spokesman had said that detectives had questioned her and that she had "made statements implicating herself" in the killing, which happened on Thursday night.

Detectives claimed she told them: "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."

Menendez, who is due to appear before a judge later today in Queens, faces from 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The victim, 46-year-old Sunando Sen, ran a printing shop and lived in Queens.

He was born in India and raised a Hindu, according to The New York Times.

He died on the number 7 line in Queens after he was suddenly knocked him on the tracks as a train entered the station.

Police had released security camera video showing a suspect running from the station.

She was described as Hispanic, aged in her 20s and stocky.

Mr Sen was partly identified through his smartphone and a prescription pill bottle, as his body was in such a bad condition.

It was the second time this month a person has been killed after being shoved on to subway tracks.

On December 3, Ki-Suck Han, 58, was pushed in front of a train in Times Square.

Homeless 30-year-old Naeem Davis was charged with murder over Mr Han's death and was ordered to be detained without bail.

Davis has pleaded not guilty and said Mr Han attacked him first. The two men had not met before.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has urged New Yorkers to keep the incidents in perspective.

"It's a very tragic case, but what we want to focus on today is the overall safety in New York," Mr Bloomberg said.