Deadly Subway Push Suspect Arraigned

A 30-year-old former deli worker has been arraigned on second-degree murder charges for allegedly pushing a subway rider off the platform and into the path of an oncoming train at 49th Street after an argument.

Naeem Davis was ordered held without bail Wednesday night.

He told reporters before his court appearance the victim attacked him first, saying, "He grabbed me."

The prosecutor said at the arraignment: "This defendant never once offered any aid as the train approached the station. 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."

Law enforcement sources said Davis made statements to detectives implicating himself in the deadly push.

Davis is accused of pushing 58-year-old Ki-Suk Han off the platform at the N, Q, R station Monday afternoon. Han was hit by a southbound Q train and died.

Han's family spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday. Daughter Ashley Han, a 20-year-old Hunter College student, said: "I just really wish I had one last chance to tell my dad how much I love him."

A wake was held for Han at the Edward D. Jamie Funeral Chapel in Flushing, Queens.

A bystander recorded part of the fight between the two men and turned the video over to police. The man who allegedly pushed Han is heard cursing and saying, in substance, "Leave me alone... stand in line, wait for the R train and that's it."

He then pushed Han onto the tracks, police said. Han tried to climb back up onto the platform but died after getting trapped between the train and the platform's edge. 

Asked Wednesday if she wished someone would have helped pull her father off the tracks, Han said it was difficult to dwell on the past.

"Yeah, the thought of someone helping him up in a matter of seconds would have been great... what happened has happened," she said.

The Q train operator, Terrence Legree, told the Daily News he saw a man on the tracks and tried to pull the emergency brakes on the train, but couldn't stop it in time. Even after he heard the sound of the train hitting the man and the locomotive screeched to a halt, Legree said he jumped out of the control booth and tried to help the victim. 

"If someone can be saved, you have to do what you have to do," Legree, a 21-year employee with the MTA, told the News. But Han couldn't be saved -- a tragic fact that had Legree struggling with an range of emotions and questions more than a day after the man's death.

“All kinds of emotions from ‘Why is this happening?’ to ‘Why was that guy down there?’ to ‘What happened?’” Legree told the News. He was treated for shock after the incident.

The suspect's last known address was in a working-class neighborhood in Queens. The only neighbor who even vaguely remembered Davis was Charles Dawes, 80, who stays with his son two doors down.

Davis "came and went, came and went, and he always looked serious," Dawes said. "But I haven't seen him for three or four months."

Subway pushes are unusual. Among the more high-profile was the January 1999 death of Kendra Webdale. A former mental patient admitted he shoved her to her death.

Following that, the state Legislature passed Kendra's Law, which lets mental health authorities supervise patients who live outside institutions to make sure they are taking their medications and aren't a threat to safety.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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