CBS News, January 15, 2022
Police say a man pushed an Asian woman in front of a moving train in Times Square, killing her, Saturday morning.
The suspect has been identified as 61-year-old Simon Martial, who is homeless.
Martial spoke out as he was escorted out of the Midtown South precinct Saturday, yelling, “Yes, I did.”
As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell is calling this incident a “senseless, absolutely senseless act of violence.”
“This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject,” she said.
Police say it happened at the Times Square station around 9:40 a.m.
It’s alleged Martial shoved Go onto the southbound Q train tracks. She was then fatally struck.
Before that, police allege he was also taunting another woman, who was able to escape unharmed. Police say that woman is not Asian.
Transit police say there were six officers assigned to the Times Square station, and two of those officers were on the platform when the incident happened.
Sources tell CBS2 Martial has a previous record of three emotionally disturbed incidents. They add he has four prior arrests, including several for robbery.
Police say there was a current warrant out for his arrest for allegedly violating his parole conditions.
Meanwhile, the train operator has “incredible trauma” after witnessing the incident, Lieber said, and subway riders who spoke to CBS2 said they are shaken.
“I find it very disheartening to see this. It’s a sign to me that the city is starting to fray,” subway rider Brandon Lewis said.
Last week, the mayor and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a joint safety plan to make the subway system safer. It includes teams of trained mental health professionals working to get the homeless off the subways, as well as bringing desk officers and patrol cops into the system. That will free up transit cops to ride trains.
According to the latest data from the NYPD, there is a more than 100% increase in overall transit crimes in 2022 compared to the same time last year with 58 incidents in the first nine days of 2022 compared to 28 in the first nine days of 2021.