Police have a 30-year-old former deli worker in custody believed to be the suspect who pushed a subway rider off the platform and into the path of an oncoming train at 49th Street after an argument.
A law enforcement official told NBC 4 New York the man is suspected of pushing 58-year-old Ki-Suk Han off the platform at the N, Q, R station Monday afternoon. Han was hit by a southbound Q train and died.
Witnesses told police the suspect was mumbling to himself before he and Han began arguing on the platform.
A bystander recorded part of the fight between the two men and turned the video over to police, who released it to the public Monday night, and received several tips. The man who allegedly pushed Han is heard cursing and saying, in substance, "Leave me alone... stand in line, wait for the R train and that's it."
He then pushed Han onto the tracks, police said. Han tried to climb back up onto the platform but died after getting trapped between the train and the platform's edge.
A law enforcement official tells NBC 4 New York that co-workers from a nearby deli where the suspect works tipped off police that their colleague might be the subway pusher after they recognized his voice from video.
Witness Patrick Gomez, who was in the station, says he heard a "thud that didn't sound normal" when the train pulled into the station.
"People are just standing there in fear and shock, not really knowing what's going on," he said. "Some people started running out of the platform, others just stood there."
He says police evacuated the platform within minutes.
Subway pushes are unusual. Among the more high-profile was the January 1999 death of Kendra Webdale. A former mental patient admitted he shoved her to her death.
Following that, the state Legislature passed Kendra's Law, which lets mental health authorities supervise patients who live outside institutions to make sure they are taking their medications and aren't a threat to safety.
That is just awful!!! How could someone stand there and watch as a train is coming and not do anything about it??? I don't get it!!!
Oh how horrible! That poor man. For those who didn't react, I did not watch the video, but how much time was there to help him & not become a victim too? Some were probably frozen in fear & disbelief. I honestly don't know what I'd do in that situation.
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