A homeless man with a lengthy rap sheet including multiple felonies, allegedly pushed a female college student in front of a subway train in White Plains, N.Y., Wednesday, after she refused to give him money. The homeless man was charged with with attempted murder after the 21-year-old woman was shoved onto the tracks and struck by a northbound train, suffering serious leg trauma, according to CBS New York on Sept. 25.
The victim, Hunter College student Maya Leggat, was interviewed by Metropolitan Transportation Authority police at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she was scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday.
The MTA identified the suspect as Howard J. Mickens, 39, who lives in a White Plains homeless shelter. Thursday the Gothamist reported Leggat was listed in critical condition with a mangled leg.
She'll need multiple surgeries on her leg which could take months. She also suffered a head injury. "She’s cut up pretty bad", said a family member.
Station newsstand operator Gary Waxman described the gruesome scene. The young woman had just emerged from the restroom when Mickens asked her for some change.
When she refused, he pushed her in front of the oncoming train. Waxman said "Fingers were gone, legs were mangled - that’s what I heard from police".
Waxman, 50, said the homeless man was a regular in the area. He said he heard through the grapevine that the suspect told police, "Now you’re going to take care of me".
According to MTA police, Mickens has been arrested 11 times, five of those were said to be violent felonies. He has convictions for robbery, assault and drug possession.
The family of the victim were angry that the convicted felon had been hanging around the station for the last six months causing problems, and apparently nothing was done about it.