Woman Charged With Hate Crime in Fatal Subway Push

Erika Menendez 'told cops it was ... against Muslims'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2012 12:32 PM CST
Updated Dec 29, 2012 3:59 PM CST
Homeless Woman in Custody Over Latest Fatal Subway Push
Commuters walk on the platform as a train enters the 40th St-Lowry St Station, where a man was killed Friday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A homeless woman detained for allegedly pushing a man to his death on New York's subway tracks will be charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, the New York Times reports. The woman, 31-year-old Erika Menendez, "told the cops it was an act against Muslims" and mentioned the 9/11 attack, a law enforcement official said. Police acting on a tip from her family picked her up on a Brooklyn street corner after the death yesterday of 46-year-old Sunando Sen, reports the New York Post. Widely circulated surveillance video offered a glimpse of her running away,

In a separate article, the Post interviews the man who pushed a woman to her death on the subway in a high-profile case in 1999. Andrew Goldstein, a schizophrenic, killed 32-year-old Kendra Webdale, prompting the subsequent "Kendra's Law" meant to keep people considered dangerous because of mental illness off the streets. The law needs to be tougher, said Goldstein, now in prison and on medication. "Should you let a mental patient like myself be in freedom so an incident like train-pushing can occur?" he asked. "The court has the right to hospitalize and medicate." (More New York City stories.)

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