Mayor Eric Adams insisted that New York City's subway system was safe Sunday, one day after a 40-year-old woman was pushed in front of an oncoming train by an accused ex-convict and killed.
"New Yorkers are safe on the subway system," Adams, a former NYPD transit cop, said during a press conference held at a subway station. "I think it's about 1.7% of the crimes in New York City that occur on the subway system. Think about that for a moment. What we must do is remove the perception of fear. Cases like this aggravate the perception of fear.
"When you see homeless individuals with mental health issues not being attended to and given the proper services, that adds to the perception of fear."
The female victim, identified as Michelle Alyssa Go of New York, was pushed to her death in front of a subway train at the Times Square station. The man believed responsible fled the scene but turned himself in to transit police a short time later, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news conference.
Police on Saturday night identified the suspect as 61-year-old Simon Martial, whom police added was homeless. Martial was charged with second-degree murder. It was not immediately known whether he had an attorney who could comment.
"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.
"He approaches her, and he gets in her space. She gets very, very alarmed," NYPD Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox said, describing the earlier encounter. "She tries to move away from him and he gets close to her, and 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."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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