Woman Killed After Man Pushes Her Onto Times Square Subway Tracks: 'It's Getting Worse'

A woman died on Saturday after she was suddenly pushed onto subway tracks at the Times Square station in New York City, according to the police.

A man pushed a 40-year-old woman, identified as Michelle Alyssa Go, in front of an oncoming southbound R train Saturday morning, the New York Police Department (NYPD) police commissioner Keechant Sewell said during a press briefing. An investigation is ongoing.

Officers found the woman under the train on the tracks unconscious with severe trauma to her body, according to Sewell. She was pronounced deceased on the scene.

"This incident was unprovoked and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject," Sewell said.

The attacker fled after the incident but turned himself into authorities later, Sewell added. The police on Sunday identified the attacker as 61-year-old Simon Martial, according to NBC New York, and said that he was charged with second-degree murder.

The MTA tweeted on Saturday that the N/Q/R trains are delayed in both directions "while emergency teams respond to someone who was struck by a train."

"This was a senseless, absolutely senseless act of violence," Sewell said of the attack.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the incident a "traumatic experience" during the press briefing.

"To lose a New Yorker in this fashion, would only continue to elevate the fears of individuals not using our subway system," he said.

Adams said that the man was in the station for around nine minutes before he attacked the victim. Meanwhile, NYPD assistant chief Jason Wilcox noted that the suspect might be homeless and had a criminal background, with three past encounters with the police.

The mayor also urged lawmakers and law enforcement to address the mental health crisis in the city and "to ensure those who need mental health assistance received that."

"That is how we're going to ensure that not only our streets, above ground and below ground are safe for New Yorkers," he said as he referred to Kendra's Law, which allows courts to order certain individuals with serious mental health issues to stay in treatment as they continue to live in society.

"Far too often, judges are reluctant to institute that law, those who cannot take care of themselves being obligated to receive the proper medical treatment that they need. So we won't create a dangerous environment," he added. "We want to continue to highlight how imperative it is that people receive the right mental health services, particularly on our subway system."

Sewell said the victim was Asian, but noted the attacker first made threatening moves toward another woman who was not. She added that police would provide updates on any potential hate crime investigation.

Passengers and bystanders reacted to the incident Saturday.

"It could have been me, it's scary," said Roxana Jones, a passenger who was at the station Saturday afternoon, according to the New York Post.

"I just think something needs to change, because it's getting worse," Ariana Shaghaghi, also at station, told the Post. "They tried with the COVID to clean the subways, but I feel that with the homelessness it's gotten worse. We need to do something about it soon, it's just terrible."

Newsweek contacted the NYPD and the mayor's office but they had no further comments or information to share.

Woman Killed After Push Onto Times Square
A man killed a woman by pushing her onto the tracks at the Times Square subway station in New York City on Saturday, police said. Above, an F train in Brooklyn on August 2, 2021. Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Similar incidents have been reported in the city recently. In October, a woman allegedly pushed a bystander into an oncoming subway train at the same Times Square subway station. The 42-year-old victim survived as she only hit her face into the side of the incoming train, and didn't fall onto the tracks.

"It looked malicious," witness Alejandro DeJesus told ABC7 at the time. "That's scary. That could happen to anybody when you least expect it."

The story was updated on Sunday with the names of the attacker and the victim.