2013-01-16 / Front Page

Grand Jury Indicts Alleged Subway Pusher On Murder Charges, Hate Crime

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today that a Queens woman has been
indicted for murder as a hate crime for allegedly shoving a 46-year-old man to his death in front of an
oncoming subway train at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station in Sunnyside, Queens, last month.
District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant is charged with having been motivated by hate when
she allegedly shoved an innocent man into the path of an oncoming train.  The violence of the attack has
no place in a civilized society – and especially in Queens County, which is proudly known as one of the
most diverse counties in the country.  When hate crimes do, regrettably, occur, they  will be condemned
in the strongest possible terms and those responsible will be brought to justice to answer for their actions.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Erika Menendez, 31, of 98-01 67th Avenue in the
Rego Park section of Queens.  At her criminal court arraignment last month, Menendez was ordered to
undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
District Attorney Brown said that at a hearing held this morning in Kew Gardens Criminal Court
before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt, it was announced that Menendez has
been deemed fit to stand trial and that she had been indicted on charges of one count of second-degree
murder as a hate crime and two counts of second-degree murder.  Menendez, who faces up to 25 years to
life in prison if convicted, was ordered to return to court on January 29, 2013, at which time she will be
arraigned on the indictment. She remains held without bail.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Menendez was observed on the
evening of December 27, 2012, at the Sunnyside subway station muttering to herself while sitting on a
bench. As a train approached the station, it is alleged that Menendez stepped behind 46-year-old Sunando
Sen, followed him briefly and then pushed him off the platform and into the path of the train.  Mr. Sen
was struck by the train and died of multiple blunt force trauma.
At the time of her arrest, it is alleged that Menendez admitted pushing Mr. Sen and said, in sum
and substance, “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.”
Assistant District Attorney Peter Lomp of the District Attorney’s Homicide Trials Bureau, is
prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief,
and Jack Warsawsky, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District
Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for
Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
It should be noted that an indictment is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed
innocent until proven guilty.

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