American woman gets 24 years for pushing Indian man to death

A 33-year-old American woman has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for pushing an Indian man to death in front of a subway train in an attack apparently motivated by religious animus.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on May 21, 2015 11:20 AM IST
Copy Link
PTI | By, New York

A 33-year-old American woman has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for pushing an Indian man to death in front of a subway train in an attack apparently motivated by religious animus.

Erika Menendez had pleaded guilty in March before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak for shoving Sunando Sen, 46 to his death as the subway train entered the station on the night of December 27, 2012.

Menendez however insisted that she could not remember why she had pushed Sen onto the path of an approaching train.

A report in the New York Post said Lasak expressed his outrage over Sen's death before sentencing her. "For whatever reason, when you gave your statement to police after you were arrested, you said, 'I hate Muslims and the Hindus.' Do you remember that?" the judge asked. Menendez replied she did not. "You picked out Sen, who was on that platform and you stood behind him and you followed him," the judge said. "This was a particularly brutal homicide. I can only imagine his final thoughts. That's a horrible, horrible way to die," Lasak said adding that Menendez's act terrorised the whole city.

"Millions of people take the trains every day in New York City to go to work or to go to school or other destinations, and they want to feel safe," Lasak said.

"And this put a chilling effect on all the ridership." Sen, an immigrant from India, had lived in Queens for years and had opened his own printing and copying business near Columbia University. He was unmarried and his parents were dead, according to roommates who lived with him in a small apartment. Following Menendez's guilty plea, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown had said she committed "what is every subway commuter's worst nightmare – being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train."

He had said Sen was shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. According to the criminal complaint, Menendez was observed talking to herself and pacing back and forth on the subway platform around 8pm on December 27.

Sen was on the platform waiting for the train's arrival when suddenly Menendez approached him from behind and shoved him onto the tracks as the train came into the station.

Sen was struck by the train and died of multiple blunt force trauma. Menendez had later told authorities that her hatred for "Hindus and Muslims" prompted her to push Sen off the subway platform.

She had also said that even though the attack on Sen was too sudden, he had still tried to save himself briefly before he fell onto the tracks. Menendez had said she did not like Muslims and in a jailhouse interview after the attack had said that she "just wanted to hurt Muslims and Hindus ever since [9/11]...I've been beating up Muslims and Hindus for a long time."

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Britain prime minister Boris Johnson (File/Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP)

    Explained: Who could be new UK PM, what is the method and how long will it take?

    The prime minister secured a narrow win last month's confidence vote - that gavBoris Johnson'sim 12 months' immunity from another. Lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party are already working to shorten that period. Boris Johnson's time as UK prime minister, it appears, is nearing its end. What next for Boris Johnson? The simplest would be for the prime minister to decide he has lost the support of his party and resign of his own volition.

  • Newly-appointed British chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi.

    Nadhim Zahawi: Rishi Sunak's successor whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the new chancellor of the exchequer, replacing Rishi Sunak who had earlier resigned from the cabinet in protest against Johnson's leadership. Zahawi's appointment also comes at a time when the British government is trying to tackle the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation. As a trained chemical engineer, Zahawi went on to work in the oil industry. He backed Brexit in 2016.

  • FILE PHOTO: A general view of village houses at Hong Kong border facing the skyscrapers in Shenzhen, in Hong Kong, China.

    Why property developers in China accepting house payments in watermelons, wheat

    Real estate firms in China have now started accepting payments for homes in watermelon, wheat, garlic and several other agricultural produce, Chinese daily The Global Times reported. Realtors in tier-3 and 4 cities are encouraging home buyers to pay part of the house payment with wheat and garlic. Experts say that China's economy, battered by multiple Covid-19 curbs, has shown slow post-lockdown recovery.

  • A man clears debris from a driveway near a bus inundated by floodwaters on a residential street, following heavy rains and severe flooding in the McGraths Hill suburb of Sydney, on July 6, 2022. 

    Homes of 85,000 people at risk, but rain eases around Sydney

    Floodwaters had inundated or were threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney on Wednesday as rivers started to recede and the heavy rains tracked north of Australia's largest city. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight in the towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, to order residents to evacuate, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said. “For many, it has been a sleepless night,” Cooke said.

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, foreground and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak take part in a cabinet meeting.

    ‘Will have to drag him kicking and screaming': UK PM Boris Johnson on the brink

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face questions in parliament followed by a grilling by senior lawmakers on Wednesday, with his premiership on the brink after a slew of resignations from ministers saying he was not fit to govern. A growing number of lawmakers in his ruling Conservative Party have said the game is up for Johnson.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022