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Subway-Shoving Suspect To Be Charged With Hate Crime

[italic]"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"[/italic]

NEW YORK — A woman who told police she shoved a man to his death off a subway platform into the path of a train because she has hated Muslims since Sept. 11 and thought he was one was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime, prosecutors said.

Erika Menendez was charged in the death of Sunando Sen, who was crushed by a 7 train in Queens on Thursday night, the second time this month a commuter has died in such a nightmarish fashion.

Menendez, 31, was awaiting arraignment on the charge Saturday evening, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. She could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted. She was in custody and couldn't be reached for comment, and it was unclear if she had an attorney.

Menendez, who was arrested after a tip by a passer-by who saw her on a street and thought she looked like the woman in a surveillance video released by police, admitted shoving Sen, who was pushed from behind, authorities said.

"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," Menendez told police, according to the district attorney's office.

Sen was from India, but police said it was unclear if he was Muslim, Hindu or of some other faith. The 46-year-old lived in Queens and ran a printing shop. He was shoved from an elevated platform on the 7 train line, which connects Manhattan and Queens. Witnesses said a muttering woman rose from her seat on a platform bench and pushed him on the tracks as a train entered the station and then ran off.

The two had never met before, authorities said, and witnesses told police they hadn't interacted on the platform.

Police released a sketch and security camera video showing a woman running from the station where Sen was killed.

Menendez was arrested by police earlier Saturday after a passer-by on a Brooklyn street spotted her and called 911. Police responded, confirmed her identity and took her into custody, where she made statements implicating herself in the crime, police spokesman Paul Browne said.

The district attorney said such hateful remarks about Muslims and Hindus could not be tolerated.

"The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter's worst nightmare," he said.

On Dec. 3, another man was pushed to his death in a Times Square subway station. A photo of the man clinging to the edge of the platform a split second before he was struck by a train was published on the front page of the New York Post, causing an uproar about whether the photographer, who was catching a train, or anyone else should have tried to help him.

A homeless man was arrested and charged with murder in that case. He claimed he acted in self-defense and is awaiting trial.

It's unclear whether anyone tried – or could have tried – to help Sen on Thursday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday urged residents to keep Sen's death in perspective as he touted new historic lows in the city's annual homicide and shooting totals.

"It's a very tragic case, but what we want to focus on today is the overall safety in New York," Bloomberg told reporters following a police academy graduation.

But commuters still expressed concern over subway safety and shock about the arrest of Menendez on a hate crime charge.

"For someone to do something like that ... that's not the way we are made," said David Green, who was waiting for a train in Manhattan. "She needs help."

Green said he caught himself leaning over the subway platform's edge and realized maybe he shouldn't do that.

"It does make you more conscious," he said of the deaths.

Such subway deaths are rare, but other high-profile cases include the 1999 fatal shoving of aspiring screenwriter Kendra Webdale by a former psychiatric patient. That case led to a state law allowing for more supervision of mentally ill people living outside institutions.

by Anonymousreply 1512/30/2012

Muslims hate and kill gays (unlike Christians), so who gives a fuck??

by Anonymousreply 112/29/2012

Hindus AND Muslims? It reminds of immediately after 9-11 when people were attacking Sikhs because the people thought they were responsible. This despite the fact that Sikhs were an entirely different religion, from a different region but their only crime was being "different".

by Anonymousreply 212/29/2012

Indian men rape and molest women, she was just trying to help out her sister womyn folk.

by Anonymousreply 312/29/2012

Hate crime or not, she's just unstable, most likely schizophrenic.

by Anonymousreply 412/29/2012

CUNT! Hope she dies in a grease fire!

by Anonymousreply 512/29/2012

Immigrant meets psycho minority.

America 21st Century

by Anonymousreply 612/30/2012

R6 licks Tea Party diarrhea up from the street.

by Anonymousreply 712/30/2012

[quote]Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday urged residents to keep Sen's death in perspective as he touted new historic lows in the city's annual homicide and shooting totals.

Is this crime statistic true or have the police fudged number somehow (they've been accused of this before). Homicides and shootings are reaching an all time high in Chicago. I know that there have been criticisms of new and ineffective police tactics in Chicago, but...

by Anonymousreply 812/30/2012

It is true they are at historic lows. But that's just because it was so fuckin' high before.

In Chicago we had 500 murders, but in the early 1990 we were up in the 900s each year.

So yes even 500 is a historic low compared to then.

by Anonymousreply 912/30/2012

See what happens when you have gun control. People just push them in front of trains.

by Anonymousreply 1012/30/2012

She's probably a Mexican.

by Anonymousreply 1112/30/2012

Imagine just minding your own business on a platform and someone just ends your life.

by Anonymousreply 1212/30/2012

This fish should in turn be pushed in front of a fast moving subway train but, being a fish, she will probably get off very lightly for this vile and hideous crime.

by Anonymousreply 1312/30/2012

25 years to life????? She'll be out when? In 5? 10? Even if 25, she should be EXECUTED!!!!!! What the hell is wrong withnthismcountry where we'll let someone getaway with killing someone in thisnfashion because they felt like it???????

by Anonymousreply 1412/30/2012

I would so love if she said she was getting subliminal messages to "kill all muslims" from watching Fox News.

by Anonymousreply 1512/30/2012
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