Mental test ordered for New York City subway slaying suspect
By The Associated Press
Published: 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.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Snowden captivates tech crowd
- D.C. mayor denies he knew of illegal ‘shadow campaign’
- Lanza’s father says he wishes son was never born
- Fannie, Freddie profits surprise
- Depth, distance reduce impact of quake off California’s northern coast
- Elephants attuned to human voices
- Powerful quake shakes N. California; no injuries
- NRA seeks to block gun magazine ban
- Senate OKs bill scrapping ‘good soldier defense’
- Changes to Medicare drug coverage scrapped
- White House advises teaching students about money