Jan 02 2013

AlJazeera: Woman charged in New York City subway hate crime killing

A woman suspected of shoving a man to his death in front of an oncoming New York subway train has been arrested and charged with “second-degree murder as a hate crime” in the second such fatality in the city.

The district attorney for the New York City borough of Queens said Erika Menendez, 31, who was seen pacing the subway platform and muttering to herself before the attack, told investigators that she pushed the victim, Sunando Sen, 46, on Thursday because “I hate Hindus and Muslims”.

Menendez was taken into custody in Brooklyn by authorities acting on a tip from someone who recognised the suspect from video of the incident that was aired on television, a spokeswoman for the district attorney told Reuters news agency.

“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,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

“Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions can never be tolerated in a civilised society,” he said.

Hate crime

The prosecutor’s statement quoted Menendez as telling investigators: “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.”

Brown’s statement gave no indication of the victim’s ethnicity or religion or Menendez might have taken Sen to be a Muslim.

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