A woman was pushed to her death in front of a subway train at New York City's Times Square station Saturday, a little more than a week after the mayor and governor announced plans to boost subway policing and outreach to homeless people in streets and trains, the Associated Press reports. The man believed responsible fled the scene but turned himself in to transit police a short time later, said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. The 40-year-old victim, Michelle Alyssa Go, was waiting for a southbound train around 9:40 a.m. when she was apparently shoved. “This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject,” Sewell said.
A second woman told police the man had approached her minutes earlier and she feared he would push her onto the tracks. Police identified the suspect as 61-year-old Simon Martial. Martial, who police said is homeless, was charged with second-degree murder. Assistant Police Chief Jason Wilcox said Martial has a criminal history and has been on parole. “He does have in the past three emotionally disturbed encounters with us that we have documented,” Wilcox said. Subway safety has been a worry for New Yorkers during the pandemic. Although the number of major felonies in the subways have dropped over two years, so has ridership, making it difficult to compare. In September, three transit employees were assaulted in separate incidents on one day. Several riders were slashed and assaulted by a group of attackers on a train in May, and four stabbings – two of them fatal – happened within a few hours on a subway line in February.