A 30-year-old former deli worker pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges he pushed a subway rider off a platform and into the path of an oncoming train.
Naeem Davis is charged with second degree murder and first degree manslaughter in connection with the death of 58-year-old Ki-Suk Han. Davis is accused of pushing Han off the platform at the 49th street N, Q, R station in December after the two got into an argument inside the station.
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Davis' attorney, Stephen Pokart, cited witness accounts suggesting that Han was the aggressor who initially came after Davis.
"Clearly Mr. Han initiated the contact, went after our client," Pokart said. "What was Mr. Han doing and why was he going up to my client who appears to have not been bothering anybody?"
At Davis' arraignment in December, prosecutors painted a different picture, describing the defendant as a cold-hearted killer who calmly watched Han die after pushing him onto the tracks.
"This defendant never once offered any aid as the train approached the station," prosecutors said. "In fact, this defendant watched the train hit the victim. And according to witnesses, he then calmly put his coat back on, picked up his cup of coffee and left the station, seemingly indifferent to the welfare or fate of the victim."
Davis is due again in court January 25.