NEW YORK — A woman accused of pushing a man to his death in front of a subway train was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime.
The woman told authorities she shoved the man into the path of the train in Queens because she has hated Muslims since the Sept. 11 attacks and thought he was one, prosecutors said.
Erika Menendez, 31, was being held in the death of Sunando Sen, who was crushed by a train on Thursday night, the second time this month a commuter has died in such a nightmarish fashion.
Menendez is expected to be arraigned on the charge this morning, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. She could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted. She couldn't be reached for comment, and it was unclear if she had an attorney.
"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.
Sen was from India, but police said it was unclear if he was Muslim, Hindu or of some other faith. The 46-year-old ran a printing shop in Queens. He was shoved from an elevated platform. Witnesses said a muttering woman rose from her seat on a bench and pushed him as a train entered the station, and then ran off.
On Dec. 3, another man was pushed to his death in a Times Square subway station. A homeless man was charged with murder.