Erika Menendez pushed a man to his death from a subway platform in front of an oncoming train because she hates Hindus and Muslims, but now a judge has ordered her to take a psychiatric test.
District Attorney Richard A. Brown identified Menendez, who is awaiting arraignment.
“(She) said in sum and substance ‘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,’” the prosecutor said in a statement.
Witnesses said a woman paced the platform and talked to herself Thursday evening shortly before pushing the man as the 11-car train entered the station. The 46-year-old man’s body was pinned under the second car after it came to a stop.
The woman made “statements implicating herself in the death of Sunando Sen,” Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman, said earlier. Surveillance video showed a person running from the scene.
Menendez was identified Saturday afternoon in a lineup, Browne said. She was recognized earlier in the day on a street in Brooklyn by a passer-by who called 911, the police spokesman said. The caller said she resembled the woman in the video.
“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.”
Sen, of Queens, owned a shop called New Amsterdam Copies and was a graphic designer for posters, said Ar Suman, Sen’s roommate.
Witnesses told police the two hadn’t interacted on the subway platform as they both waited for the train.