TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Mental test ordered for New York City subway slaying suspect

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, 5:56 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — A woman suspected of killing an immigrant who was pushed off a New York City subway platform has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Erika Menendez, 31, was arraigned late Saturday on a charge of murder as a hate crime. She told police that she has hated Muslims since the 9/11 attacks and thought the victim was one. Judge Gia Morris ordered that Menendez be held without bail and be given a mental health exam.

“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter's worst nightmare,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Menendez is charged in the death of Sunando Sen, who was crushed by a train in Queens on Thursday night. Friends and co-workers said Sen, a 46-year-old Indian immigrant, was Hindu.

“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers I've been beating them up,” Menendez told police, according to the district attorney's office.

There were no Hindus involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Menendez was incoherent at her arraignment in Queens criminal court, at one point laughing so hard that the judge told her defense lawyer, “You're going to have to have your client stop laughing.”

Menendez admitted shoving Sen, who was pushed from behind, authorities said. She was arrested after a tip by a passer-by who saw her on a street and thought she looked like the woman in a surveillance video released by police.

A man who answered the phone at her family's apartment told the New York Post that Menendez is a troubled woman.

“Erika is a bipolar person, and that is why this happened — not because she was a terrorist,” he said. “She's been in Elmhurst Hospital 10 to 15 times.”

Her building's doorman told the Post that she goes out of control when she fails to take her medications.

“She would go off the wall sometimes in the house,” Angel Luis Santiago said. Her parents “called the cops on her to take her out of the house. When she don't take her medication, she goes really wacky.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Obama: U.S. embassy in Havana marks ‘new chapter’ in Cuba ties
  2. Official: Fire at South Carolina black church wasn’t arson
  3. Fires at black churches stir worst fears amid relative calm
  4. FDA review of OxyContin abuse-deterrent version put on hold by maker
  5. NSA resumes collection of phone data
  6. NBC dumps Trump’s beauty pageants
  7. New York prison chief, 11 employees put on leave in escape
  8. Advocate pushes IRS on nonprofits’ tax forms
  9. Civil rights groups welcome Supreme Court ruling on housing discrimination
  10. Missouri spells out eating disorder coverage for insurers
  11. Supreme Court to take up mandated dues for public employees unions in next term