In a shocking event, a man allegedly pushed an Asian woman in front of an oncoming train in New York's Times Square subway, leading to her death.
On January 15 at 9.53 am, the now-deceased, identified as Michelle Alyssa, was waiting for her train on the southbound platform. She was pushed on the tracks and was struck by an R train coming towards the platform's direction.
The man has been identified as Simon Martial. The horrific incident has instigated a culture of fear among the New Yorkers, with many asking the authorities to make the city "safe" again.
Hours after the incident, Twitterati expressed its anger and fear on the social media platform.
Speaking about the incident, New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that the deceased had no previous interaction with the alleged criminal and that the whole incident was unprovoked.
Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox of the NYPD Detective Bureau said that Martial had first approached another woman, but she sensed danger and escaped unharmed.
“She feels that he was about to physically push her onto the train. As she’s walking away, she witnesses the crime where he pushes our other victim in front of the train.”
Two of the six officers assigned to the Times Square Station were on the platform when the incident occurred, as per transit police.
According to police, Martial turned himself in after the incident. The 61-year-old has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. His prior whereabouts are unknown, authorities reported.
As he was being led into the Midtown South precinct on West 35th Street, Martial stuck his tongue out at photographers. He had a gray beard and wore a black hooded jacket.
New York City police officials said that the Times Square subway incident was being reviewed by their hate crime task force, but it was not being investigated officially as a hate crime.
Martial has a criminal record dating back to 1998 when he was apprehended for robbery, and his last arrest was for criminal possession of a controlled substance in October 2019. State records indicate that he served two years in state prison for attempted robbery before being released in August 2021.
The sources also claimed that, before the Times Square subway incident, Martial had three run-ins with the police as an emotionally disturbed person.
Josette, who identified herself as the sister of Martial, said he has a history of mental illnesses.
“He’s been on medication for over 20 years and in and out of mental hospitals in New York.”
She also claimed that her brother was once a parking lot manager in New York City and earned good money.