Woman Charged in NYC Train Death Laughs in Court
NEW YORK — A woman charged with pushing a man to his death in front of a train in Queens had previously attacked two people, the New York Times reports.
31-year-old Erika Menendez has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the subway death.
Sunando Sen, 46, was waiting for the No. 7 train last Thursday evening when Menendez allegedly came up behind him and shoved him onto the tracks.
Witnesses said a woman paced the platform and talked to herself shortly before pushing the man as the 11-car train entered the station.
Sen’s body was pinned under the second car after it came to a stop.
Police got Menendez’s image from surveillance video of the 40th street subway station that captured the suspect running away moments later.
Police released the video Friday and someone reportedly recognized her and tipped off cops when they saw her in Brooklyn.
Menendez made “statements implicating herself in the death of Sunando Sen,” said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman.
She allegedly told police, “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.”
The Queens District Attorney said Menendez was incoherent at her arraignment. At one point she was laughing out loud, out of control.
Menendez has been arrested three times before: twice for violence and once for drug possession, police said.
She attacked a retired firefighter while he was emptying his trash, according to the New York Times. That attack came months after she hit and scratched another man.
“I was covered with blood,” the firefighter told the Times. “She was screaming the whole time… I think I would have been dead if she had a weapon.”
Menendez was ordered held without bail at her arraignment, and she will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Sen, of Queens, owned a shop called New Amsterdam Copies and was a graphic designer for posters, said roommate Ar Suman.
His death comes the same month that another man, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han, was killed after being shoved onto the tracks in a Times Square station.
Naeem Davis, 30, a homeless man, has been charged with second-degree murder in that case.