Posted on January 17, 2013

Homeless Man Who Pushed a Father in Front of New York Subway Train Says It Was ‘Bad Timing’ as He Was Upset over Losing His Timberland Boots

Sara Malm, Daily Mail (London), January 17, 2013

A homeless man who pushed a father onto the tracks of an oncoming New York subway train has said one of his reasons for the fatal push was that he had lost his Timberland boots.

Naeem Davis, 30 is pleading not guilty to second degree murder and manslaughter but admitted to police that he pushed Ki-Suck Han in front of the train.

Mr Davis said he could have walked away from the argument with ‘drunk’ Mr Han, but that his ‘head wasn’t where it was supposed to be that day’ because a friend had thrown away his boots two days before, court papers reveal.

Mr Davis told police that he realised that his 58-year-old victim was drunk when he jumped the turnstile at the 49th Street N/R/Q platform.

He said: ‘Yes, for the sake of argument, I could have walked away, but it was just bad timing. He came at the wrong time.’

He then claims Mr Han threatened him, saying ‘I’ll kill you!’ and that the victim started the fight which led to him being pushed in front of the train.

Mr Han’s wife has said she had argued with her husband and that he had been drinking on the morning of December 3 last year.

At about 12.30pm, Mr Han encountered Mr Davis, who later told police he was on a paid errand to buy merchandise for street vendors.

Mr Davis claimed that after the men accidentally bumped into each other while entering the station, the victim began yelling at him.

He also said the victim was staggering and slurring his words.

‘I don’t know you, you don’t know me!’ Davis said he responded before trying to walk away.

After Mr Han followed him down the platform and tried to grab him, Mr Davis admitted pushing him away.

Upon his arrest the following day Mr Davis told police ‘I’m really sorry this happened, really sorry. Do you think I can get a manslaughter charge?’

According to court documents Mr Davis has pleaded not guilty to charges of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter with defense arguing Mr Han was ‘clearly pursuing’ him after starting a fight.

In the documents, procured by The Gothamist newspaper, Judge Bonnie Wittner questions the defence.

‘There was no other way to prevent injury to himself except by pushing [Han] onto the train tracks with an oncoming train?’

‘He could have been drunk, but I still don’t think it was in defense to throw somebody onto the subway tracks. I could be wrong.’

Prosecution argues Mr Davis’s statements prove he knew better and that he was not threatened by Mr Han.

Mr Davis has been held without bail since his arrest last month as the trial continues.