Ovation: Subway Pusher Identified And Charged With Murder As A Hate Crime.
The New York City subway system is an amazing engineering accomplishment. Personally, I find it overwhelming.
My “commuting into the city days” are far behind me. Every workday for several years, I got up early enough to drive my car to the train station, take a train into “the city” and then walk fourteen blocks to work. It was an expensive, two-hour commute. My biggest fear was falling asleep on the way home and missing my train stop. If you fell sound asleep, you’d end up at the end of the line and have to call for a ride.
“Oh, honey, is this another one of your fantasy stories about how people travel beneath the city in a secret underground network of tunnels and trains?” – Karen Walker, Will & Grace
At least I never had to worry about being pushed onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. Last Thursday evening, a 46-year-old man was shoved in front of a NYC subway train where he quickly perished. The woman quickly fled the scene but her escape was recorded by nearby security cameras. Yesterday, she was identified and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime. Erika Menendez , according to prosecutors “said in sum and substance ‘I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2011 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.’”
Witnesses said the 31-year-old Bronx woman was pacing on the platform and talking to herself Thursday evening shortly before pushing the man. Early Saturday morning she was recognized on a Brooklyn street by a passer-by who called 911. Later in the day she was identified in a lineup.
“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s worst nightmare — being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train. The victim was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions can never be tolerated by a civilized society.” – District Attorney Richard A. Brown
I’m so glad that this woman has been caught. Even more so I’m pleased that she’s been charged with a hate crime. Her violent behavior represents the very definition of a bias crime and I think it would be a travesty of justice if she were not prosecuted accordingly.
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