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'Muslim-hating' homeless woman confesses to killing Indian immigrant by shoving him under a train after her relatives tip off police
Family alerted NYPD Friday after seeing Erica Menendez, 31, on TV news
NYPD nabs Menendez in Crown Heights, Brooklyn Saturday morning
Cousin tells paper homeless woman suffers from bi-polar disorder
Menendez wore the same jacket as seen in surveillance video of the event when police found her
Menendez told investigators, ‘I’ve hated Hindus and Muslims since 2001 since they put down the Twin Towers. I have been beating them up since.'
Victim identified as Sunando Sen, 46, an Indian immigrant from Calcutta, who co-owned a copy shop on Manhattan's Upper West Side
Sen stood on a Queens elevated subway platform 8pm Thursday, when officials say Menendez pushed him in the back and into an oncoming train's path
19:38 GMT, 30 December 2012
Party girl: Erica Menendez, 31, during happier times, or before she allegedly pushed an Indian immigrant into the path of an oncoming subway train Thursday
A Muslim-hating madwoman confessed today to pushing a hard-working Indian immigrant into a subway train's path – and her relatives tipped off police after seeing her on a Friday newscast.
Erica Menendez, a 31-year-old homeless woman who reportedly suffers from bi-polar disorder, admitted shoving Sunando Sen, 46, in front of a Queens 7 Train Thursday, telling police, 'I've hated Hindus and Muslims since 2001 since they put down the Twin Towers. I have been beating them up since.'
'She is accused of committing a subway
commuter’s worst nightmare,' Queens District Attorney Richard Brown
reportedly said on Saturday. '(He was) suddenly and senselessly pushed
into the path of an oncoming train, shoved from behind with no chance to
nabbed Menendez after her family tipped advised them Friday the homeless woman
might be the one for whom they were searching in connection with the
ghastly attack on Sen, sources told The New York Post. Relatives reportedly recognized Menendez's mug on a TV newscast.
It didn't take police long to catch
up with her, as they spotted Menendez in Brooklyn's Crown Heights
area about 5 a.m. Saturday. At the time, she wore the same jacket as she did in
surveillance video retrieved from the 40th Street-Lowery subway station
in Queen from which she fled after the 8pm attack.
SCROLL DOWN FOR SURVEILLANCE VIDEO
Perp walk: NYPD officers escort a screaming 31-Year-old Erika Menendez Saturday night to an car awaiting outside the 112th Precinct in Queens
Hate-filled attacker: In confessing to police she pushed Sen, Menendez told cops, ''I've hated Hindus and Muslims since 2001 since they put down the Twin Towers. I have been beating them up since'
Busted: Erica Menendez, a 31-year-old homeless woman, rendered by a sketch artist (left), is suspected of pushing Sunando Sen, right, to his death in front of a 7 train in Queens
Crime scene: Sen was struck by the train and killed at the 40th Street station near Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, pictured
Police reportedly tried in vain to question a muttering Menendez, who at one point inquired after the R train's location.
'All I know is that she's bipolar and as far as seeing the footage, I'm pretty sure it was her,' a cousin of the suspect told the Post.
The doorman at the Rego Park building where Menendez’s mother and stepfather live said she visited her folks regularly.
'I know her. . . . You could tell that something was not right, like she needed medication or something,' the anonymous doorman told The New York Daily News. 'It’s just very sad what happened.'
Menendez later confessed at the 112th Precinct House in Forest Hills, Queens that she did, indeed, push Sen, 46, a Calcutta native,
into the 7 train's path.
On the run: Menendez was captured on a surveillance camera fleeing from the train station after the incident
Clue: Police obtained grainy surveillance footage from a nearby pizzeria showing a woman said to be wearing a blue, white and gray ski jacket and Nike sneakers running away
The unidentified woman, seen fleeing on video, was reportedly muttering to herself
Authorities charged Menendez with murder as a hate
crime, a second-degree offence carrying a penalty of 25 years to
life in prison, according to authorities. As of Saturday evening, she awaited formal arraignment, and could not be reached for comment.
It was unclear if she had an attorney.
The New York Daily News reported Sen had lived in the U.S. for the past 20 years and currently resided in a Queens apartment with at least two roommates. It was not clear if he was Muslim or Hindi.
'I think she's crazy,' Sen's shocked roommate, Ar Suman, told the New York Post. 'I can't believe this right now.'
Suman said Sen, who
was single and childless, had just opened a copy shop, the New Amsterdam
Printing Co, with another man on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
'My heart is broken because this guy was so nice and quiet,' added Sen’s other roommate, Md Khan.
On Friday, Sen's business partner was trying to reach the victim's relatives in
India to deliver them the bad news.
funeral service was scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 30, between
3pm and 5pm at Coppola-Migliore Funeral Home on 104th Street in Queens.
Hunt: New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne said the woman fled the scene, pictured, after the shocking attack and officers were searching for her
Investigation: Officers, pictured, quizzed witnesses after the shocking incident
According to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly,.
officers identified Sen using his wallet and laptop, both of which were recovered at the scene.
The NYPD's chief
spokesman Paul Browne said Menendez fled the station after the attack. Meanwhile, Kelly has said Sen was looking
westbound as the train pulled into the station and likely didn't
see the woman leaping from a bench and shoving him at the last, possible moment before the train arrived.
Sen was struck by the first car of an 11-car northbound train and got stuck under the wheels of the second car, Browne said.
The NYPD chief added Sen, who was
pronounced dead at the scene, had 'terrible injuries that make providing
a description difficult at this time.'
It also has not been determined if anyone tried
to help the man up before he was struck by the train. However, according to witnesses, there wouldn't have been time.
heard the train screech as it was stopping and then heard this loud
scream,' Linda Santini-Tripodis, who was beneath the 40th Street station
at the time, told the newspaper. 'I'm never going to forget that scream for as long as I live.'
Sen's death marks a second time this month that someone has been killed in such a gruesome fashion.
However, Browne added there was 'no trend' of
such horrific occurrences. 'It's the urban nightmare,' Browne told Bloomberg.
'It's sometimes in the back of peoples' minds because of the incident preceding this one, but there's no indication that it is related in any way or inspired it,' he added.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly said during his weekly radio address Friday he understood that the extraordinary nature of the tragedy did not diminish its impact upon the victims' families.
'To say it’s only two in a long period of time doesn’t help either person,' he said. 'I don’t know what happened here.'
Crime scene: The shocking incident occurred at around 8pm at the station, pictured, and is the second horrific case this month
Shocking: Sen was standing on the elevated platform of a 7 train in Queens at about 8pm when he was shoved on the tracks
Police viewed footage from a 24-hour surveillance camera outside a pizzeria located across from the station and were able to obtain clear images of the suspect, according to The New York Times.
'She jumps from the stairs and she just runs,' Oasis Restaurant owner, Giovanni Briones, told the newspaper, describing the video he provided detectives.
He said he did not recognize the woman but that a restaurant regular was on the train and said they felt a bump as it ran over the man.
On December 3, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han was shoved in front of a train in Times Square.
A photograph of him on the tracks a
split second before he was killed was published on the front of the New
York Post the next day, causing an uproar and debate over whether the
photographer, who had been waiting for a train, should have tried to
help him and whether the newspaper should have run the image.
no one else tried to help up Han, either.
Charged: Homeless man, 30-year-old Naeem Davis, pictured, was charged with murder after pushing a man under a train on December 3
Dead: Ki-Suck Han, pictured, was shoved in front of a train in Times Square
A homeless man, 30-year-old Naeem Davis, was charged with murder in Han's death and is being held without bail.
He has pleaded not guilty, claiming Han was the aggressor and had attacked him first. The two men hadn't met before.
Service was suspended tonight on the 7 train line, which connects Manhattan and Queens, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been using buses to shuttle riders while police investigate.
Being pushed onto the train tracks is a silent fear for many of the commuters who ride the city's subway a total of more than 5.2 million times on an average weekday, but deaths are rare.
Among the more high-profile cases was the January 1999 death of aspiring screenwriter Kendra Webdale, who was shoved by a former mental patient.
After that, the state Legislature passed Kendra's Law, which lets mental health authorities supervise patients who live outside institutions to make sure they are taking their medications and aren't threats to safety.
On Friday, Mayor Bloomberg said that had some concerns about the state releasing mentally ill people from custody.
WATCH SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE OF SUSPECT FLEEING HERE
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