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NYPD: Woman dies after being pushed in front of subway train

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NYPD: Woman dies after being pushed in front of subway train
New York City police said a man is in custody following the fatal incident at the Times Square-42nd Street station early Saturday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A woman was killed after being pushed in front of a moving subway train in New York City's Times Square on Saturday, police said.

The New York Police Department said the victim died at 9:39 a.m. in the Times Square-42nd Street station after she was shoved off the platform and into the path of a southbound train.

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The suspected assailant was identified as Simon Martial, described in a news briefing by NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell as a 61-year-old homeless man.

"This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject," she said while appearing at the station with New York Mayor Eric Adams and acting Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman Janno Lieber.

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"This is a sad day," Lieber said. "A New Yorker who's going about her business right in the heart of our city, in the heart of our subway system in Times Square -- and she lost her life."

Three of Manhattan's main subway lines were hit with delays as the investigation at the Times Square station proceeded.

The 40-year-old victim was an Asian woman, but police said Martial was also seen taunting another woman who is not Asian before the incident. The earlier victim escaped unharmed.

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The incident came a week after Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul vowed to beef up the police presence on the city's subway system, announcing a program sending teams of dozens of social workers to shepherd homeless riders into shelters.

Under the "Safe Options Support Teams" program, NYPD will refer homeless people they encounter to the new teams unless there's criminal activity that requires immediate attention.

Adams reiterated his backing for the program Saturday.

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"We're going to continue to do everything that's possible to make our subway system safe, but again, we're calling on all of our partners, from lawmakers to law enforcement, VAs to judges, to ensure those who need mental health assistance receive that," he said.

Hochul said in a tweet she was "horrified by the tragedy at Times Square today," adding, "We will continue working with [Adams] to ensure everyone feels safe in our subway system."

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