A woman allegedly pushed a man to his death in front of a Queens, N.Y., subway train on Thursday night, making it the second such subway death this month in the city.
Police have not yet identified the man who was waiting at the No. 7 line, 40th Street Station, in Sunnyside around 8 p.m., nor have they yet arrested the woman believed responsible for his death, the New York Post said. A surveillance camera captured the suspect fleeing the scene. Police said the man suffered severe injuries, complicating a positive identification.
Witnesses said the man likely did not see the woman, who they said had been mumbling to herself and pacing before pushing him to his death from the elevated train platform.
“She was acting weird and crazy,” a source told the New York Post.
One witness, Tenzing Tegeng, 21, said there were about five people waiting on the platform at the time of the incident.
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“This lady, she just pushed the guy on the tracks. Then she ran away. I was screaming and closing my eyes,” Tegeng said. “I knew he was gonna get hit by the train. That’s why I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to see it."
She added, “I could see him, and I could see a train coming. And I couldn’t do anything. I was so helpless. He was trying to get up. It was so fast.”
Several witnesses said there was no interaction between the man and the woman, and it remains unclear whether there was any relationship between them. Police, however, have said they do not believe they knew each other.
Police described the woman as a heavyset Hispanic woman in her 20s, according to the New York Daily News. She can be seen on surveillance video fleeing the 40th Street station shortly after the fatal subway push.
The woman, who is 5-foot-5 with brown or blonde hair, had taken a seat on the platform, and then started pacing and mumbling to herself, the newspaper said.
As the Flushing-bound train pulled into the station, witnesses said the woman rose from her seat and went behind the man before pushing him onto the tracks.
“She was seated alone and then waited until the train came into the station and approached this individual from behind and pushed him in front of the train,” New York Police Department spokesman, Paul Browne, told reporters from the scene.
Browne said there wasn’t enough time for the other subway riders on the platform to help the victim. He added that the man's body wasn't removed from the tracks until around 1:30 a.m. on Friday.
The incident on Thursday follows an attack on Dec. 3 at the Seventh Avenue-59th Street station in Manhattan. Ki-Suk Han, 58, was pushed to his death in front of an oncoming train by Naeem Davis, 30, allegedly following an argument. Davis was arrested on second-degree murder charges.
That incident led to media criticism after the New York Post ran a front-page photograph shot by a freelancer, showing Han on the tracks seconds before he was killed by the train.
The tabloid was slammed over the controversial use of the photo. The photographer, R. Umar Abassi, has said that he was too far away to help the man and used his flash in an attempt to warn the train’s conductor that Han was on the tracks.