December 5, 2012 in Nation/World

NYC police make arrest in fatal subway push

Colleen Long Associated Press
 

NEW YORK (AP) — A suspect was arrested Wednesday in the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks and photographed just before a train struck him.

Naeem Davis, 30, was taken into custody for questioning Tuesday after security video showed a man fitting the suspect’s description working with street vendors near Rockefeller Center. Police said Davis made statements implicating himself in Ki-Suck Han’s death.

Davis was arrested on a second-degree murder charge. He was in custody, and it wasn’t immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

Witnesses told investigators they saw a man talking to himself Monday afternoon before he approached the 58-year-old Han of Queens at the Times Square station, got into an altercation with him and pushed him into the train’s path.

The New York Post published a photo on its front page Tuesday of Han with his head turned toward the train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time. It was shot by freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi, who was waiting to catch a train.

Abbasi told NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday that he was trying to alert the motorman to what was going on by flashing his camera.

He said he was shocked that people nearer to the victim didn’t try to help in the 22 seconds before the train struck.

“It took me a second to figure out what was happening … I saw the lights in the distance. My mind was to alert the train,” Abbasi said.

“The people who were standing close to him … they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him up. No one made an effort,” he added.

Trains generally arrive at the stations going 25 mph, but it’s not clear how fast the train was going when it struck Han. The waiting area is a narrower than other subway stations, but the platform is still about a dozen feet wide.

In a written account Abbasi gave the Post, he said a crowd took videos and snapped photos on their cellphones after Han was pulled, limp, onto the platform. He said he shoved them back as a doctor and another man tried to resuscitate the victim, but it was no use. The man died in front of Abbasi’s eyes.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that it appeared the suspect in Han’s death had “a psychiatric problem.”

The mayor said Han, “if I understand it, tried to break up a fight or something and paid for it with his life.”

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Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik and Tom Hays and contributed to this story.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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