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Entries in subway (16)

Friday
Jan182013

Man Accused of Dragging Woman onto Philadelphia Subway Tracks

ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia police said they have arrested the suspect caught on surveillance video attacking and dragging a woman across a train station platform before throwing her onto the tracks.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) arrested William Clark at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, 48 hours after he allegedly attacked Alexis Wilson, 23, on a subway platform in the Chinatown section of Philadelphia.  Wilson was left with minor injuries.

Police plan to charge Clark, 36, with aggravated assault.

"Thank God she wasn't knocked unconscious in that track area," SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestell said in a news conference Thursday.

Police say Clark walked up to Wilson, who was sitting and waiting for a train on Tuesday at about 3:20 p.m.  Police say the suspect asked her for a lighter, which she gave to him.  After waiting a few seconds, Clark allegedly grabbed her by the neck and repeatedly punched the woman in the face.

Clark proceeded to drag Wilson by her feet across the train station platform toward the tracks, police said.  After he tossed her into the tracks, the suspect casually walked back to the train station bench and snatched her cellphone, police said.  Wilson climbed back onto the platform.

When Clark was arrested on Thursday, he was wearing the same multicolored jacket that was observed in the surveillance video.  The jacket had the words, "Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resorts," according to police.

"A sergeant from the transit police observed this individual and he was apprehended still in possession of the victim's phone and wearing that jacket," police chief Nestell said.

Police said they have not identified a motive.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec302012

NYC Subway Push Killing: Woman Charged With Murder

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A woman who allegedly told New York City police she pushed a man onto the subway tracks because she hated Hindus and Muslims has been charged with murder as a hate crime.

Erica Menendez, 31, allegedly told police that she "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 was taken into custody Saturday morning after a two-day search, and when detectives were interviewing her she allegedly made the statements implicating herself in Thursday night's subway-platform death.

"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," Queen District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. "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."

Menendez was due to be arraigned Saturday evening. She could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the second degree murder charge.

On Thursday night, a woman shoved a man from a subway platform at Queens Boulevard, and the man was crushed beneath an oncoming train. Police had searched the area for her after the incident.

The victim was Sunando Sen, identified by several media outlets as a graphic designer and Indian immigrant who opened a print shop, Amsterdam Copy, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Sen was struck by the No. 7 train after the unidentified woman allegedly pushed him from the northbound platform at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard at 8:04 p.m. on Thursday.

Witnesses told police they had seen the woman mumbling to herself, pacing along the platform. She gave Sen little time to react, witnesses said.

"Witnesses said she was walking back and forth on the platform, talking to herself, before taking a seat alone on a wooden bench near the north end of the platform. When the train pulled into the station, the suspect rose from the bench and pushed the man, who was standing with his back to her, onto the tracks into the path of the train," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said earlier today. "The victim appeared not to notice her, according to witnesses."

Police released brief surveillance video of the woman fleeing the subway station, and described the suspect as a woman in her 20s, "heavy set, approximately 5'5" with brown or blond hair."

It was New York's second death of this kind in less than a month. On Dec. 3, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han of Queens was shoved onto the tracks at New York's Times Square subway station. Two days later, police took 30-year-old Naeem Davis into custody.

On Friday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked whether the attack might be related to the increase of mentally ill people on the streets following closures of institutions over the past four decades.

"The courts or the law have changed and said, no, you can't do that unless they're a danger to society. Our laws protect you," Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show.

 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec292012

NYC Subway Push Killing: Suspect in Custody

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a two-day search, New York City police say they have apprehended a suspect in Thursday night's subway-platform death.

"Detectives have in custody a woman who has made statements implicating herself in the death of Sunando Sen in the 108th [Precinct] on Thursday night," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne announced in a written statement on Saturday.

On Thursday night, a woman shoved a man from a subway platform at Queens Boulevard, and the man was crushed beneath an oncoming train. Police had searched the area for her after the incident.

The victim was Sunando Sen, identified by several media outlets as a graphic designer and Indian immigrant who opened a print shop, Amsterdam Copy, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Sen was struck by the No. 7 train after the unidentified woman allegedly pushed him from the northbound platform at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard at 8:04 p.m. on Thursday.

Witnesses told police they had seen the woman mumbling to herself, pacing along the platform. She gave Sen little time to react, witnesses said.

"Witnesses said she was walking back and forth on the platform, talking to herself, before taking a seat alone on a wooden bench near the north end of the platform. When the train pulled into the station, the suspect rose from the bench and pushed the man, who was standing with his back to her, onto the tracks into the path of the train," Browne said. "The victim appeared not to notice her, according to witnesses."

Police released brief surveillance video of the woman fleeing the subway station, and described the suspect as a woman in her 20s, "heavy set, approximately 5'5" with brown or blond hair."

It was New York's second death of this kind in less than a month. On Dec. 3, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han of Queens was shoved onto the tracks at New York's Times Square subway station. Two days later, police took 30-year-old Naeem Davis into custody.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec282012

Man Killed After Being Pushed in Front of NYC Subway Train

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Detectives in New York are searching for a female suspect who fled a subway station after a man was fatally pushed in front of a train on an elevated platform in Queens, N.Y.

At 8:04 p.m. on Thursday, an unnamed male passenger was standing on the northbound platform of the 40th Street and Queens Blvd. station in Queens, waiting for the 7 train.  Witnesses told police that a woman was walking back and forth on the platform and talking to herself before she took a seat on a wooden bench on the platform.

As the 7 train approached the station, witnesses said the woman rose from the bench and pushed the man, who was standing with his back to her.

Witnesses told police that the victim did not notice the woman behind him.  He was struck by the first of the 11-car train, with his body pinned under the front of the second car as the train came to a stop, according to a statement from Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown.

After pushing the man onto the platform, the woman then fled down two separate staircases to Queens Blvd.  She was described as wearing a blue, white and grey ski jacket, and grey and red Nike sneakers.

It is unclear if the two knew each other, or whether anyone on the platform attempted to help the man off the platform before he was struck by the train.

Overnight, the NYPD released surveillance video of the woman believed to be the suspect.  Detectives were also canvassing locations along Queens Blvd. for other witnesses and surveillance video.

Thursday's death marks the second incident in New York this month of a man being killed after being pushed onto subway tracks and killed by an oncoming train.

On Dec. 3, Ki-Suck Han, 58, was tossed onto the subway track at 49th Street and Seventh Avenue around 12:30 p.m. after an altercation with a man who was later identified as 30-year-old Naeem Davis.  Davis has been charged with murder in Han's death and was ordered held without bail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec062012

Suspected NYC Subway Pusher Arraigned on Murder Charges

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A Manhattan, N.Y., judge denied bail late Wednesday to a man charged with shoving a Korean immigrant onto subway tracks where he was killed by an oncoming train.

Assistant District Attorney James Lin told the court that defendant Naeem Davis, 30, of Queens, N.Y., "has admitted to lifting [the victim] off his feet and pushing off the wall behind him to add more force."

Lin said that victim Ki-Suck Han, 58, had been described by witnesses as "rolling over a few times like a bowling ball'' before being struck by a train as it pulled into a crowded Manhattan subway station Tuesday afternoon.

Davis appeared in court Wednesday around 11 p.m. with a shaved head and a goatee.  He had been charged earlier Wednesday with one count of second degree murder and one count of second degree murder with depraved indifference.  

Davis' attorney, Stephen Pokart, told the court that two out of three witnesses failed to pick Davis out of a series of lineups Wednesday morning.  He added that Han may have been intoxicated, and suggested that the fatal push may have been an act of self-defense.

Pokart cited a news account which quoted Han's wife as saying that her husband "left home drunk and angry" following an argument.

He added, "I want to know how drunk and how angry Mr. Han was."

"What was Mr. Han doing to my client?" Pokart asked.

Davis could be heard arguing with Han before the fatal shove, according to surveillance video from the station.  Davis told police that Han was harassing him and would not leave him alone, so he pushed Han.

Police are also awaiting toxicology results on Han, who was found with an empty pint bottle of vodka on him when he died, according to sources.

"Our family is grieving now, but we want to thank everyone who has reached out to us and offered their help.  We are suffering in sorrow but we have the support of our family, friends and church to help us through this time," Ashley Han, the victim's daughter, said in court.

Davis was ordered held without bail pending a second court appearance on Dec. 11, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Lynn Kottler said in court.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec042012

Subway Push Murder Suspect Implicated Himself, Police Say

iStockphotos/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A suspect believed to be responsible for throwing a man into the path of an oncoming New York City subway train, and who was taken into custody Tuesday, has made statements implicating himself, police said.

According to Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne, the suspect has been questioned by police since at least early afternoon Tuesday, and while the suspect is in police custody, he has not been officially charged.

Police are continuing to question the suspect, and more lineups have been scheduled for Wednesday, Browne said.

Police have not released the suspect's name but began questioning him Tuesday afternoon about the death of Ki-Suck Han, 58, of Queens, N.Y.

Han was tossed onto the subway track at 49th Street and Seventh Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Monday after Han confronted a mumbling man who was alarming other passengers on the train platform. Han tried to scramble back onto the platform, but was crushed by an oncoming train.

The suspect fled the station, prompting a police dragnet for a man described by witnesses and seen on surveillance video as a 6-foot-tall, 200-pound black man wearing dreadlocks in his hair.

Witnesses tried to revive the victim after he was hit and provided descriptions of the suspect to police.

Dr. Laura Kaplan, medical resident at Beth Israel Medical Center who was standing on the platform during the incident, rushed to give Han aid after he was hit, she said in a statement released by her medical practice Tuesday.

"A security guard and I performed 3-4 minutes of chest compressions. I hope the family may find some comfort in knowing about the kindness of these Good Samaritans, as they endure this terrible loss," Kaplan said.

"I would like the family to know that many people in the station tried to help Mr. Han by alerting the subway personnel," she said.

Kaplan said she wanted to console the family of Han, whom she called "a brave man trying to protect other passengers that he did not know."

The suspect had reportedly been mumbling to himself and disturbing other passengers, according to ABC News affiliate WABC. Police told WABC that the suspect could be mentally disturbed.

The suspect could be heard arguing with Han just moments before he hurled Han onto the track bed, according to surveillance video released by the police. The suspect is heard telling the victim to stand in line and "wait for the R train."

A freelance photographer for the New York Post was on the platform and said he ran towards the train flashing his camera hoping to alert the train to stop in time, but the train caught Han against the shoulder-deep platform wall.

The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, caught an eerie photo of Han with his head and arms above the platform and staring at the oncoming train.

Han was treated by EMS workers on the platform for traumatic arrest and rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Fire Department of New York.

"I just heard people yelling. The train came to an abrupt stop about three-quarters into the station and that's when I heard a man was hit by a train," Patrick Gomez told ABC News affiliate WABC.

Police set up a command post outside the train station Monday night searching nearby surveillance cameras to try and get a clear image of the suspect, reports WABC. They said Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Boston Woman Carrying Young Son Tumbles Onto Subway Tracks

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A Boston mother holding her 4-year-old son in her arms walked right off a subway platform during rush hour and fell face-first onto the tracks.

Two Good Samaritans quickly jumped to the tracks to save her and her son before a train came through the station.

Surveillance video posted onto YouTube captured the woman as she stepped off the platform and took a shocking tumble with her small son onto the tracks Wednesday just before 6 p.m. at Cambridge's Kendall Square Station outside Boston.

The unidentified mother from Attleboro, Mass., told an MBTA Red Line Inspector that she mistook the northbound train, which had just arrived on the platform across the tracks, for the southbound train that she was waiting for, according to the statement.

Two commuters, who were waiting for the southbound train, jumped down onto the track, scooped up the child and helped the woman back onto the platform to reach safety.

The woman and the boy did not suffer any visible injuries, but were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital to be examined, according to a statement from MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. An ambulance was not dispatched to scene, according to the Cambridge Fire Department.

Fortunately the incoming train did not arrive immediately after the fall, and the woman -- and her rescuers -- managed to avoid the third rail, which could have electrocuted them.

"The bystanders' quick response is worthy of praise, but it's also important that the public remember that the subway's third rail is electrified," Pesaturo said in the statement. "It's always best to immediately notify an MBTA employee so that we can alert nearby train crews and shut off the power to the third rail as soon as possible."

The man and woman who came to the woman's aid left the scene when the trained arrived without identifying themselves, Pesaturo told the Boston Herald, which first reported on the incident.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May212012

Dad Saves Woman on NYC Subway Tracks

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A father of three young children leaped on the tracks of the New York City subway, rescuing a woman as his children looked on in disbelief.

Greg Wetzel, 40, Saturday rescued an unconscious woman who had fallen on the tracks at the 72nd Street subway station moments before a train arrived at the platform, according to police.

A digital sign marking the minutes before the oncoming train would arrive ticked from two minutes to one as Wetzel jumped on the tracks.

“I saw a commotion and as I got closer I saw a woman unconscious laying across the tracks,” Wetzel told ABC News.

“I had to make a bit of a decision. The sign said three minutes, when I looked up again ‘two minutes.’ I had to make a decision and I quickly assessed the risks.”

Wetzel said bystanders on the platform helped hoist the unidentified woman, 50, onto the platform before the train arrived.

Two women looked after his children while he was on the tracks. Seconds later, Wetzel climbed back on the platform himself.

The woman was taken to nearby Roosevelt Hospital, but her condition is unknown, according to police. Wetzel said he did not see the woman fall onto the tracks, but other straphangers told him they saw her stumbling before falling onto the tracks below.

Wetzel, a lawyer for an aviation company, was taking the train with his three children; two boys ages 6 and 7, and his 4-year-old daughter.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr192012

New York Subway Bomb Plotter Breaks Down on Witness Stand

iStockphotos/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Najibullah Zazi, the admitted ringleader of a 2009 plot to bomb the New York City subway, broke down in tears Thursday, during his third day of testimony against his alleged co-conspirator.

When asked by the prosecutor if he still considered defendant Adis Medunjanin a good friend, Zazi began to cry, and said, "I love him." Zazi's tears became sobs when he was asked if he believed Medunjanin intended to carry out the suicide bombings. Zazi hung his head, and after a short pause, whispered, "Yes."

Zazi told a jury Wednesday that his purpose in coming to New York was to construct a "martyrdom operation." Zazi, 26, was raised by Afghan parents in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. He moved to Queens, New York as a teen, where he met Medunjanin, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bosnia.

Medunjanin has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder abroad, and of providing material support to a terrorist organization. He faces a life sentence if convicted.

A third conspirator, Zarean Ahmedzay, 27, who pled guilty to a role in the plot two years ago, testified Monday. All three of the Muslim men, who attended high school together in Queens, were "very close friends," said Zazi. Wednesday marked the first time Zazi, the central figure in the failed subway bombings, has described the plot in detail publicly, telling the jury he became radicalized after listening to jihad-promoting audio recordings.

In 2008, Zazi testified, the three men traveled to an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan where they received terror training, learning to fire pistols, AK-47 machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades. Zazi said they were also instructed on how to make bombs using household materials. "It was very simple, and they're everywhere," he said of the chemicals, which include nail polish remover and hydrogen peroxide.

It was during this time in Pakistan, Zazi said, that the three men, along with a top al Qaeda fugitive known as "Hamad," devised what authorities have deemed one of the most serious terror plots since the Sept. 11 attacks. Zazi told the jury the men considered other targets, such as the New York Stock Exchange, Times Square, and an unspecified Walmart store, but eventually decided to target the subway because "it's the heart of everything in New York City," Zazi said.

Zazi said the men drew inspiration from videos of the July 2005 London metro bombings. "That was a very big achievement, achievement through hitting the United Kingdom economically," Zazi said.

Before the three men returned to the U.S., Zazi took handwritten notes on bombmaking and scanned them into his email, evidence that was introduced in court. Later emails show Zazi corresponding with one of his al Qaeda handlers to get the exact formula for completing the bombs. "[P]lez reply to what i asked u right away. the marrige is ready," Zazi wrote.

After leaving Pakistan, Zazi relocated to Denver, where he lived with relatives and took a job as an airport shuttle driver. Zazi later used the shuttle to carry his lethal chemicals.

During the summer of 2009, Zazi traveled to New York to meet with his conspirators, telling the jury, "We talked about if we were still into the plan. Zarein and Adis said 'yes.'"

The three men decided on suicide bombings at three different Manhattan subway locations during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to Zazi. He testified that the men specifically targeted trains leaving Grand Central Terminal at rush hour in order to maximize the death toll. We hoped that "people would have a lot of fear," Zazi said.

Zazi then returned to Denver, where he rented a hotel suite and began mixing the chemicals necessary to carry out his terrorism plot, creating what he said was enough for three bombs. Once completed Zazi rented a car, loaded in the deadly chemicals, and drove to New York.

However, earlier emails he had sent to his al Qaeda handler had been intercepted by the F.B.I., and by the time Zazi reached the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and Manhattan, counterterrorism investigators were waiting for him.

Police followed his car and Zazi, realizing he was under surveillance, stopped at a Queens mosque and threw away the chemicals, goggles, and other bombmaking materials. Ahmedzay flushed some chemicals down the toilet, Zazi added.

He flew back to Denver, where he was contacted by the F.B.I. and later arrested.

Zazi's guilty plea was part of a government cooperation agreement that guaranteed his testimony in Medunjanin's trial.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb232012

Accused NYC Subway Terrorist to Face Anonymous Jury

iStockphotos/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In an unusual legal move, when a New York City man goes on trial this spring for allegedly plotting to detonate explosives in the subway, it will be an anonymous jury that determines his fate.

U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Dearie sided with prosecutors who argued for an anonymous jury because the charges against Adis Medunjanin, "are of the highest possible seriousness."

"Given the nature of the allegations, the involvement of al Qaeda, a foreign terrorist organization with global reach and a history of targeting civilians in New York City, and the virtual certainty of substantial media and public attention, a fair trial requires empanelling an anonymous jury," prosecutors said in court papers.

Medunjanin is accused of being a willing suicide bomber and partnering with convicted terrorist Najibullah Zazi and others to detonate homemade explosives in the subway system in September 2009.

In the case of an anonymous jury, any identifying information for the jurors is withheld from the public and they are only referred to by an assigned number -- a rare but not unheard of judicial move in sensitive, high-profile cases.

Court records say Medunjanin traveled to Pakistan, "with the goal of joining the Taliban and fighting violent jihad against the United States and coalition troops in Afghanistan." Instead, court records say, Medunjanin returned to the U.S. intent on conducting a suicide attack.

Zazi and co-defendant Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and are expected to testify against Medunjanin, their one time high school friend, at trial, which is scheduled to begin in April in Brooklyn.

"One need not conjure up worst-case scenarios to observe that even the mere possibility that the defendant's co-conspirators in al Qaeda, or their sympathizers, might threaten the judicial process in this case is a valid concern," said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Bitkower.

Defense attorneys called the prosecution argument "inadequate" and said there was no compelling reason to seek an anonymous jury.

"Here, the government does nothing more than invoke the specter of al Qaeda and terrorism as a justification for the extreme steps of empanelling and partially sequestering an anonymous jury," attorney Robert Gottlieb said.

Judge Dearie did not immediately decide whether to also order U.S. marshals to escort jurors between their homes and the courthouse.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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