As we reported earlier, a suspect has been arrested in the brutal subway pushing murder at a Sunnyside 7 train station earlier this week, and the woman held has officially been identified after the arrest.
31-year-old Erica Menendez of the Bronx has been arrested in the subway pushing death of 46-year-old Sunando Sen, an immigrant from India who lived in Queens with roommates. Sen, described as a quiet and friendly man who was hardworking and had recently launched a new business, was shoved to his death on the tracks at the 40th Street station in Queens Thursday night.
Sen’s death came as a shock to New Yorkers as it was the second murder of its sort to happen in December, but the reason behind the apparent random attack is even more chilling. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown commented on the forthcoming charges in the case, saying:
“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare … Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train.”
While in and of itself, a subway push killing is a frightening circumstance for all New Yorkers, Brown says Menendez’s stated motivation is even more worrisome — the Queens DA quotes the suspect as (in “sum and substance”) saying:
“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.”
According to the New York Times, Brown admits there is a chance that Menendez may be unhinged and found unfit to stand trial — but the DA adds that “the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions should never be tolerated by a civilized society.”