Suspect in train death charged
NEW YORK — The family of a woman accused of shoving a man to his death in front of a subway train called police several times in the past five years because she had not been taking prescribed medication and was difficult to deal with, authorities said on Monday.
Erika Menendez, 31, was being held without bail, charged with murder in the death of Sunando Sen. Menendez told police she pushed the 46-year-old India native because she thought he was Muslim, and she hates them, according to prosecutors.
The two had never met before she shoved him off the subway platform because she “thought it would be cool,” prosecutors said. The victim was Hindu, not Muslim.
It wasn't clear whether Menendez had a diagnosed mental condition. But her previous arrests and legal troubles paint a portrait of a troubled woman.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly would not say what medication she was taking or whether she had a psychiatric history. Authorities were called to her home five times since 2005 on reports of an emotionally disturbed person, records show.
In one instance, police said, she threw a radio at the responding officers.
Menendez had been arrested several times, starting when she was young. In 2003, she was arrested on charges she punched a 28-year-old man in the face inside her Queens home, but the case was later dropped. She pleaded guilty that year to assaulting a stranger on the street near her home. The victim, retired fire department official Daniel Conlisk, said the attack was violent and relentless.
“I really believe if she had a knife, she would have killed me,” said Conlisk, 65.
In December 2003, Menendez was arrested for cocaine possession. She was given a conditional discharge upon pleading guilty.
On Thursday, witnesses said a woman pacing and mumbling to herself suddenly shoved Sen off the elevated platform of a No. 7 train that travels between Manhattan and Queens. She fled.
Menendez was spotted by a passer-by who called 911 and said she resembled the wanted suspect. When she was arrested, she told police she shoved Sen because she blamed Muslims and Hindus for 9/11 and had been “beating them up” ever since, according to authorities.
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.
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Witnesses added for Benghazi hearing
- IRS calls right-wing Republicans ‘crazies’ in emails
- Appeals court upholds nation of origin labels for meat
- House’s vote to sue Obama is historic foray into checks, balances
- State Dept: ‘No American is proud’ of CIA tactics
- Met Museum of Art president to retire
- N.Y. opera proposes mediation as lockout looms
- Senate report to question detention, interrogation practices, secrecy at CIA after 9/11
- Rollout of health exchange draws flak from GAO official
- Tea Party opposition threatens House GOP’s border bill