NEW YORK - A Manhattan woman was killed after a man pushed her in front of an oncoming subway train in Times Square Saturday morning, authorities say.
The incident happened just after 9:30 a.m. in the 42nd Street and Broadway subway station.
According to the NYPD, the victim, 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go, died when a man shoved her onto the tracks in front of a southbound R train, which struck and killed her.
The suspect has been identified as 61-year-old Simon Martial, a reportedly homeless man with an extensive criminal history dating back to the 1990s. Police said that Martial turned himself into the police soon after the attack, and he has been charged with second-degree murder.
"He does have in the past three emotionally disturbed encounters with us that we have documented," Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox said.
Martial, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, was unrepentant as police led him out of Midtown Precinct South, loudly cursing at assembled media.
"This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject," Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
A second woman told police that Martial 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," 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."
Mayor Eric Adams continued to say the NYPD will ensure the transit system is safe for commuters after the attack.
"This is a safe system because of the job of the transit officers have carried out," Adams said. "We're going to continue to enhance, to deal with the mental health crisis that we have in our system."
Adams also called on all levels of government to ensure that people in the midst of mental health crises are able to get the assistance they need.
"A New Yorker was going about her business right in the heart of our city in the heart of our subway system in Times Square. And she lost her life. This is unconscionable. This is unacceptable, it has to stop," said MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
"Horrified by the tragedy at Times Square today. My heart is with the victim’s loved ones and with all who witnessed and responded to the devastating incident," Governor Kathy Hochul said in a tweet. "We will continue working with @NYCMayor to ensure everyone feels safe in our subway system."
Subway conditions and safety have become a worry for many New Yorkers during the pandemic. Although police statistics show major felonies in the subways have dropped over the past two years, so has ridership, making it difficult to compare.
And some recent attacks have gotten public attention and raised alarms. In September, three transit employees were assaulted in separate incidents on one day. Several riders were slashed and assaulted by a group of attackers on a train in lower Manhattan in May, and four separate stabbings — two of them fatal — happened within a few hours on a single subway line in February.
In recent months there have been several instances of people being stabbed, assaulted or shoved onto the tracks at stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and at Times Square.
Earlier this month, Hochul and Adams had unveiled a new plan to target public safety issues in the city, including street homelessness and subway crime.