The woman who pushed a man to his death in a New York subway has been identified as 31-year-old Erika Menendez. CNN Justice reports that she was “arraigned late Saturday, where she was ordered held without bail and to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The prosecutor summed up her testimony, “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims.” She went on to say that she has been beating them up since 911.
Witnesses say that Sunando Sen, a 46-year-old Hindu male was pushed onto the track. His body was pinned under the second car after it came to a stop. Menendez was talking to herself before sending the man to his death. Security video showed someone running from the scene.
She was apprehended with the help of the public. A passerby called 911 to say a woman resembling the person in the video was walking the streets in Brooklyn.
"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," said Brown, the district attorney. "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."
Subway murders, stabbing and violent crimes
CNN reports Ki-Suck Han was killed by being pushed into the New York subway in early December. A homeless person was charged in that second degree murder.
Kendra’s Law was put into effect in 1999 after two people were shoved in front of the oncoming trains within months of each other. Kendra Webdale fell to her death while the second victim had to have his legs amputated. Both assailants were found to be suffering from schizophrenia. These two events which led to the establishment of Kendra's Law, “allows doctors to insist that people with potentially dangerous mental problems be given assisted outpatient treatment.”
According to NYSubway.com, “In 2004, Giuliani's successor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, boasted that "Today, the subway system is safer than it has been at any time since we started tabulating subway crime statistics nearly 40 years ago."
“The most terrifying incidents in the NYC subway have been completely unpredictable, and often at the hands of the mentally ill. In the summer of 2006, there were two separate, very disturbing cases on the New York Subway - the "Boston Stabber" and the "Power Saw Slasher.” “Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at the time: "When you get four and a half million people a day into the system, every once in a while a really bizarre thing can happen."
Hate Crimes Post 911
CAIR Report 2005
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an American Muslim civil rights organization. Their annual report on anti-Muslim incidents is the most thorough of its kind. According to the most recent report released in May 2005 entitled "Unequal Protection: The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States," anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by more than 50 percent between 2003 to 2004; while 93 anti-Muslim hate crimes were recorded in 2003; 141 hate crimes were recorded in 2004. The study cites 1,552 cases of anti-Muslim occurrences including violence, discrimination, and harassment. Approximately 225 of these cases involved religious discrimination, such as a city's opposition to a mosque. 196 cases involved discrimination in the workplace and 190 cases cited verbal harassment. The report hypothesizes that the increase in anti-Muslim sentiment can be attributed to websites and radio programs whose content propagates feelings of hate. Ten percent of these crimes were committed in New York City.
Now we can add murder in the subway to the list of crimes. These senseless murders must stop. The lives of every American depend upon it.