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Homeless man charged in subway train death, denied bail
Naeem Davis was arraigned Wednesday night on a second-degree murder charge and ordered held without bail in the death of Ki-Suck Han on Monday. He is due back in court on Dec. 11.
Authorities charged a homeless man in the death of a Korean-born man pushed in front of an oncoming subway train and killed as onlookers watched.
Naeem Davis, 30, was arraigned Wednesday night on a second-degree murder charge and ordered held without bail in the death of 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han on Monday. He is due back in court on Dec. 11.
As the handcuffed defendant walked past reporters he blamed the victim for what happened.
"He attacked me first. He grabbed me," Davis said.
Asked by a television news reporter if he meant to kill Han, Davis replied "No."
Prosecutor James Lin told the judge that Davis saw the train strike Han before leaving the Times Square station.
"The defendant never once offered any aid to the victim as the train approached the platform and in fact, this defendant watched the train hit the victim," Lin said.
But Davis' Legal Aid lawyer, Stephen Pokart, said outside court that his client reportedly "was involved in an incident with a man who was drunk and angry."
A witness, Leigh Weingus, told The New York Times that Han appeared to be aggressive toward Davis.
"The victim kept saying "Hey! Hey!' at the suspect, getting closer and closer to him," she said. "At first Davis appeared calm, saying 'I don't know you, you don't know me, get out of my face."
Han's wife had said she had argued with her husband that morning and that he had been drinking.
Davis has several prior arrests in New York and Pennsylvania on mostly minor charges including drug possession.
Relatives and friends on Thursday bid a final farewell to Han at a funeral chapel festooned in floral arrangements in Flushing, Queens.
His widow and daughter knelt before the open coffin for several minutes before taking their seats in the front row for the Korean-spoken service.
Han's death got widespread attention not only for its horrific nature, but because he was photographed a split-second before the train trapped him and seemingly no one attempted to come to his aid.
Han's only child, 20-year-old Ashley, said at a news conference Wednesday that her father was always willing to help someone. But when asked about why no one helped him up, she said: "What's done is done."
"The thought of someone helping him up in a matter of seconds would have been great," she said.
A freelance photographer for the New York Post was waiting for a train Monday afternoon when he said he saw a man approach Han at the Times Square station, get into an altercation with him and push him into the train's path.
The Post photo in Tuesday's edition showed Ki-Suck Han with his head turned toward the train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time.
The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he was trying to alert the motorman to what was going on by flashing his camera.
He said he was shocked that people nearer to the victim didn't try to help in the 22 seconds before the train struck.
"It took me a second to figure out what was happening ... I saw the lights in the distance. My mind was to alert the train," Abbasi said.
"The people who were standing close to him ... they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him up. No one made an effort," he added.
In a written account Abbasi gave the Post, he said a crowd took videos and snapped photos on their cellphones after Han was pulled, limp, onto the platform. He said he shoved them back as a doctor and another man tried to resuscitate the victim, but Han died in front of them.
Ashley Han and her mother, Serim Han, met reporters Wednesday inside their Presbyterian church in Queens. The family came to the U.S. from Korea about 25 years ago. They said Han was unemployed and had been looking for work. Their pastor said the family was so upset by the front-page photo of Han in the Post that they had to stay with him for comfort.
"I just wish I had one last chance to tell my dad how much I love him," Ashley Han said.
Subway pushes are feared but fairly unusual. Among the more high-profile cases was the January 1999 death of Kendra Webdale, who was shoved to her death by a former mental patient.
Subway riders said they were shocked by Han's death but that it's always a silent fear for many of the more than 5.2 million commuters who ride the subway on an average weekday.
"Stuff like that you don't really think about every day. You know it could happen. So when it does happen it's scary but then what it all comes down to is you have to protect yourself," said Aliyah Syphrett, 23, who sat on a bench as she waited at Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan.
- Shocking that the perp was an African American man.
- Isn't it just, R1... That murdering football player too. Shock all over the place. Propensity for violence.
- Chad Lindsey, a dancer, who rescued a person who fell on the tracks in 2009 was on Anderson Cooper 360 last night. He said there are ladders at both ends of the subway platform.
- Not suggesting this guy deserved it, but this is an another example of how you have to be careful about confronting strangers who are rude, cut you off in traffic, etc. You never know who's is going to turn out to the paranoid lunatic
- The victim may have been intoxicated. He left the house drunk and he had a bottle of vodka on him.
- The sooner r1 and r2 die of AIDS the better.
- Ahhs the one who says when it's quittin' time at Tara; Quittin' time!
- so what r5? Davis' life wasn't in danger. Han may have been drunk and obnoxious, but it was clear that whatever their confrontation was, it was over as Han walked away and towards the platform. This isn't the case of self-defense as Davis seem to be suggesting. This is a clear case of a deranged man murdering someone he just didn't like.
- [quote]Propensity for violence.
Yes, there was nothing at all violent about Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and the Columbine and Aurora gunmen.
- See if we had President Welfare Obama's free healthcare and free section 8 and food stamps, he'd be too busy to kill anyone.
They should put every Republican on trial for this murder. This guy is clearly a victim.
- r8, what if Han was the aggressor? If Davis pushed him to get him away from him and Han happens to fall onto the tracks because he's drunk - how is that Davis' fault?
- I think there could be extenuating circumstances. It wasn't premeditated, it was a fight that got out of hand. And if the victim started it, that should definitely be considered. I hope the guy isn't going to get railroaded just because he's homeless.
- The victim may have been drunk as well r12.
- Well, R9, those people you mentioned certainly were violent. You miss the point that your list of monsters planned and plotted over a period of time to commit their crimes. Your trigger-happy ball jockey and subway shover snapped and their reaction was immediately to go for the violent remedy. As it so often is...
- Everybody please F&F r14.
How interesting that I am criticized for my support of the Salvation Army but posts like r14 can just be freely posted with no percussions.
Says a lot about this board.
- R15 = weak and small and prone to tears
- [quote] freely posted with no percussions.
So not only is R15 a cry baby and a bigot, but they are also retarded.
- This thread derailed quickly.
- I agree with R4. Reports indicate he was drunk at the time. If that is true, that would explain him being confrontational with the man that pushed him and explain why he didnt run to other side of the tracks to avoid the train. Again, I dont think they guy deserved to die, but when you're so drunk that your wife kicks you out of the house at 11:30 in the morning, something is not right.
- If there was no train coming from the opposite direction, couldn't Han have skipped the rails and walked to the other side? What would one do in his situation, anyway?
- R20 Yes, or at the very least stood on that barrier that separates the tracks.
- Thanks, R21.
- R1 and R2 are racist faggot assholes who should both be killed.
- sez you...
- F&F @ r23.
- I can't believe people are blaming the victim. Typical.
- Someone who is homeless and gets harassed by some drunk asshole, and now ends up on trial for murder, might be described as a victim too.
- F&F r25.
- [quote]Someone who is homeless and gets harassed by some drunk asshole, and now ends up on trial for murder, might be described as a victim too.
You skipped the part in your list where that "someone" shoved his "harasser" onto the railroad tracks, R27.
I'm sure it was just a simple typing error on your part.
- I always thought that if you fell on the subway tracks you were 99.9% going to be electrocuted before a train hit you.
- That's how you're characterizing it r29, and you weren't there. They're having a trial to determine exactly what happened, and only the jury, after hearing all the evidence, will be in a position to judge.
- That homeless man will end up in jail for life. Food and lodging for life. This works out quite well.
- F&F @ r28.
- Just because homosexuals and others who want to step outside the bounds of natural heterosexual union want to hijack the age-old institution of marriage as it has always been known, denial of that arrogation does not constitute any imposition on your rights and protections. It seems by your own actions you make yourself a second-class citizen if you say you want children and willingly enter into a relationship which necessitates the involvement of heterosexuals (and the government that deprives?) to make it happen.
- Most train platforms in Manhattan form an overhang so that there is crawl space underneath. That's what I always tell myself I'd do if I fell off the track.
- What does that have to do with someone pushing a stranger in front of a train, r34. Are you saying this incident has something to do with unnatural homosexual depravity? Neither of the dudes was gay as far as we know and I don't think it matters.
- Smell her at R34, she's full of herself, yet lost in the wrong thread.
Talk about an FF!
- Moralizing bores everywhere agree with R34.
- I was shocked and surprised to see the photo of the perpetrator. Who would have guessed his ethnic background? It just shows how stereotypes are terribly wrong and unfair.