Man arrested after woman pushed onto New York City subway tracks
A New York woman was pushed onto subway tracks as a train approached in a horrific, random attack on security videos, authorities said Friday.
Fortunately, the woman landed on two rails rather than two rails and kept her head bowed as the train passed Union Square Station in Manhattan at 8:29 a.m. on Thursday, witnesses and law enforcement officials said.
"It's very worrying," said Kathleen O'Reilly, captain of the New York Police Department. "We saw him (the suspect on the video) waiting and calculating that the train was approaching the station."
A 24-year-old homeless man, Aditya Vemulapati, has been arrested and posted on suspicion of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, attempted first-degree assault, and second-degree assault. This resulted in a criminal complaint from the Manhattan Attorney's Office.
A judge ordered that Vemulapati be held until his court hearing on December 4th. Vemulapati's attorney could not be reached immediately for comment late Friday evening.
A man was arrested in New York City after pushing a woman onto the subway tracks before an incoming train pulled into the station. The woman fell between the train tracks and barely survived the incident without major injuries. (NBC News)
"Luckily for her she fell between the trundle bed and the rails, and suffered minor injuries by the grace of God," said O'Reilly.
The 40-year-old woman, who was waiting to board a 5-passenger train, suffered cuts to her head and body.
"I see someone fall on the trail and say, 'What the hell?' "Witness Andre Gunter said. "The conductor stopped the train before he could drive 100 percent and then came out traumatized. He said, 'That was a person.'"
The station serves around 22 million passengers annually. O'Reilly said there were many police officers on duty there and they made the arrest quickly.
The attack on Union Square followed another thrust incident 28 blocks north at 42nd Street / Bryant Park Station Wednesday night.
24-year-old suspect Justin Pena is said to have pushed a 36-year-old UPS employee onto the tracks after the victim refused to give him money.
Pena hadn't hired a defense attorney or received a defense attorney until Friday morning, a Manhattan district attorney representative said.
"These horrific attacks have absolutely no place in our system," MTA representative Andrei Berman said in a statement. "These are terrible incidents no one should experience - period. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement to ensure the safety of New Yorkers while driving."
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