Woman charged with 'hate crime' in US subway shove death
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A 31-year old woman, arrested for shoving an Indian immigrant to his death onto a subway train track here, has been charged with murder as a hate crime after she admitted before police that she pushed him because she "hated Hindus and Muslims".
Erika Menendez of Queens is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime for the death of 46-year-old Sunando Sen.
She is to be arraigned in Queens criminal court and faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Sen, an immigrant from India, had lived in Queens for years and recently opened his own printing and copying business near Columbia University.
He was unmarried and his parents were dead, according to roommates who lived with him in a small apartment.
Police have notified Sen's family in India about his death.
Menendez pushed an unsuspecting Sen on to the subway tracks in front of an oncoming train at a Queens station as he was waiting on the platform on the night of December 27.
Brown said Sen was struck by the train and died of "multiple blunt force trauma."
He was hit by the first car of the train and his body was pinned under the second car before the 11-car train came to a stop.
In a statement released by the district attorney's office, Brown quoted Menendez as having told the police "in sum and substance" that "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 was referring to the September 11, 2001 attack on Manhattan's World Trade Center towers.
After being on the run for almost two days, Menendez was apprehended by police early yesterday morning after it received a tip from a citizen who spotted her on a Brooklyn street and identified her from the sketch and surveillance video the police had released.