Erika Menendez's arrests did not start with the unfortunate incident in New York City late last year. Now, the media have become aware that the woman has had a string of incidents with the police. Her family said the woman struggles with mental illness, and they had been forced to call the authorities multiple times over the last several years when she failed to take her prescription medication. As a result of failing to take her medication, she became "difficult to deal with," authorities said on Mon., Dec. 31, 2012.
According to Press Herald, police responded to her home five times since 2005, and Menendez was arrested for a variety of violent crimes since her youth. One victim was even granted two restraining orders against her. She was also arrested for cocaine possession.
The 31-year-old woman allegedly pushed a man to his death on Wednesday of last week. The woman shoved 46-year-old Indian immigrant Sunando Sen into the path of a moving subway train. The man was struck and killed. Three days later, Erika Menendez was arrested for the crime. Although Sen was Hindu, not Muslim, the suspect told authorities, "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." She was charged with a second degree murder as a hate crime on Saturday, according to New York Daily News.
Do Erika Menendez's arrests prior to the death of Sunando Sen last week come as a surprise? Should more have been done to help the woman, who may be mentally ill, before the incident took place?