New York City police arrested a Bronx woman and charged her with second-degree murder as a hate crime for pushing an Indian man to his death at a Queens subway platform, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said the suspect, Erika Menendez, told authorities she acted out of Islamophobic beliefs stemming from the 9-11 terrorist attack on the city.
“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims,” Menendez said to police, according to Brown. “Ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.”
The victim, 46-year-old coffee shop owner Sunando Sen, was an Indian native raised as a Hindu. Police said he was pushed from behind onto the tracks at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station Thursday night and was crushed by an oncoming train.
Menendez was arrested early Saturday morning after being identified based on security camera footage released by authorities.
According to CBS News, one witness at the scene of Sen’s death told police there were no signs he and the suspect knew each other.
“I’m not certain how much time our witness had spent on the platform,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. “But the witness says there was no contact between the two of them while she observed both of them.”
Sen’s death is the second incident of its kind this month, following an encounter that led to the death of 58-year-old Ki-Suk Han. WCBS-TV reported that officials with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are reconsidering a plan to install sliding doors on some subway of the city’s subway platforms.
Watch CBS News’ report on Sen’s death, originally aired Friday, below.