Psychiatric test for suspect in NYC subway death - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Psychiatric test for suspect in NYC subway death

Posted: Updated:
In this image provided by the New York City Police Department, a composite sketch showing the woman believed to have pushed a man to his death in front of a subway train on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 is shown. (AP Photo/New York City Police Department) In this image provided by the New York City Police Department, a composite sketch showing the woman believed to have pushed a man to his death in front of a subway train on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 is shown. (AP Photo/New York City Police Department)
  • RelatedMore>>

  • Woman charged with murder in NY subway shove death

    Woman charged with murder in NY subway shove death

    Saturday, December 29 2012 11:01 PM EST2012-12-30 04:01:18 GMT
    A woman who told police she shoved a man to his death off a subway platform into the path of a train because she has hated Muslims since Sept. 11. 
    A woman who told police she shoved a man to his death off a subway platform into the path of a train because she has hated Muslims since Sept. 11 and thought he was one was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime, prosecutors said. 

NEW YORK (AP) — A woman suspected in the death of an immigrant who was pushed off a New York City subway platform has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Erika Menendez, 31, was arraigned Saturday night on a charge of murder as a hate crime. She had told police she has hated Muslims since Sept. 11 and thought the victim was one. Judge Gia Morris ordered that Menendez be held without bail and be given a mental health exam.

Menendez is charged in the death of Sunando Sen, who was crushed by a train in Queens on Thursday night. Friends and co-workers said Sen, a 46-year-old Indian immigrant, was Hindu.

"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," Menendez told police, according to the district attorney's office.

"The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter's worst nightmare," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Menendez was incoherent at her arraignment in Queens criminal court, at one point laughing so hard that the judge told her defense lawyer, "You're going to have to have your client stop laughing."

Menendez admitted shoving Sen, who was pushed from behind, authorities said. She was arrested after a tip by a passer-by who saw her on a street and thought she looked like the woman in a surveillance video released by police.

A call to Menendez's attorney was not immediately returned Sunday.

Sen was the second man to die after being pushed in front of a New York City subway train this month. Ki-Suck Han was killed in a midtown Manhattan subway station on Dec. 3. A photo of Han clinging to the edge of the platform a split second before he was struck by a train was published on the front page of the New York Post, causing an uproar about whether the photographer, who was catching a train, or anyone else should have tried to help him.

A homeless man was arrested and charged with murder in that case and is awaiting trial. He claimed he acted in self-defense.

It's unclear whether anyone tried, or could have tried, to help Sen on Thursday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged residents Friday to keep Sen's death in perspective as he touted new historic lows in the city's annual homicide and shooting totals.

"It's a very tragic case, but what we want to focus on today is the overall safety in New York," Bloomberg told reporters following a police academy graduation.

But commuters still expressed concern over subway safety and shock about the arrest of Menendez on a hate crime charge.

"For someone to do something like that ... that's not the way we are made," said David Green, who was waiting for a train in Manhattan. "She needs help."

Green said he caught himself leaning over the subway platform's edge and realized maybe he shouldn't do that.

"It does make you more conscious," he said of the deaths.

Such subway deaths are rare, but other high-profile cases include the 1999 fatal shoving of aspiring screenwriter Kendra Webdale by a former psychiatric patient. That case led to a state law allowing for more supervision of mentally ill people living outside institutions.

___

Associated Press writer Karen Matthews contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Court rules against plan to fund convention center expansion

    Court rules against plan to fund convention center expansion

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:28:40 GMT
    Just a week after Comic-Con International, San Diego's bid to keep the huge annual trade show in town was dealt a severe setback Friday when a state appellate court struck down the mechanism being used to fund a $520 million expansion of the convention center. 
    Just a week after Comic-Con International, San Diego's bid to keep the huge annual trade show in town was dealt a severe setback Friday when a state appellate court struck down the mechanism being used to fund a $520 million expansion of the convention center. 
  • Man accused in bogus charitable website faces judge

    Man accused in bogus charitable website faces judge

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:16:35 GMT
    A man accused of trying to bilk charitable people via a bogus website soliciting monetary contributions for the family of an Escondido police officer killed in an alleged domestic shooting pleaded not guilty Friday to nine felony charges, including forgery. 
    A man accused of trying to bilk charitable people via a bogus website soliciting monetary contributions for the family of an Escondido police officer killed in an alleged domestic shooting pleaded not guilty Friday to nine felony charges, including forgery. 
  • Not guilty plea from man accused in El Cajon road rage assault

    Not guilty plea from man accused in El Cajon road rage assault

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:16:11 GMT
    A La Mesa resident accused of severely beating a 76-year-old man during a road-rage confrontation outside an East County drugstore, leaving him with injuries that required several rounds of surgery, pleaded not guilty Friday to elder abuse and assault charges. 
    A La Mesa resident accused of severely beating a 76-year-old man during a road-rage confrontation outside an East County drugstore, leaving him with injuries that required several rounds of surgery, pleaded not guilty Friday to elder abuse and assault charges. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.