Simon Martial homeless man pushes Asian woman to her death at Times Sq subway station. History of ongoing mental illness.
The episode unfolded at 9:40 a.m. just nine minutes after the man was caught on video entering the Times Square station at West 42nd Street and Broadway, police said.
The 40-year-old woman was waiting on the southbound platform when she was shoved onto the Q train tracks and hit, police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a late afternoon press briefing.
‘This incident was unprovoked and the victim does not appear to have any interaction with the suspect,’ Sewell said.
The suspect had first approached another woman, who was not Asian, who became alarmed and moved away, said Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox of the NYPD Detective Bureau.
61YO Simon Martial, believed to be homeless, was arrested today for pushing a Chinese woman in front of a train. He has priors since 1998. Most recently on parole for an attempted robbery of a cab driver in August 2017. https://t.co/Jk5OrLhknP pic.twitter.com/pdUKRnsgH4
— Sarah Y. Kim (@Syissle) January 15, 2022
Prior criminal history
‘She feels that he was about to psychically push her one the train,’ the official said. ‘As she’s walking away she witnesses the crime where he pushes our other victim in front of the train.’
At 9:53 p.m., a man walked into a transit precinct on Canal Street and declared that he ‘pushed a woman in front of a train’ Wilcox said.
Wilcox said the suspect had not been charged as of late afternoon.
He was identified as Simon Martial, 61, with no known address, according to law enforcement sources.
Simon, who has a gray beard and was wearing black hooded jacket, stuck his tongue out at photographers snapped photos of the man being led to a midtown precinct.
‘He is crazy, talking gibberish,’ said a law enforcement source.
Simon has a criminal record with at least three arrests going back to 1998, when he was busted for robbery, with the latest coming in October 2019 for criminal possession of a controlled substance. He served two years in state prison for attempted robbery and was released in August 2021, state records cited by the nypost show.
— New York Post Metro (@nypmetro) January 15, 2022
History of ongoing mental illness – released on to the streets
He was accused of entering a man’s car on Sixth Avenue and Waverly Place on Aug. 9, 2017, simulating he had a weapon and saying ‘I have a gun. Give me your cash!’ according to sources.
The terrified driver fled.
Simon, who is originally from Haiti according to his family, also had three runs in with police as an emotionally disturbed person, sources cited by the nypost said.
Simon’s sister, Josette, said he has a history of mental illness.
‘He’s been on medication for over 20 years and in and out of mental hospitals in New York,’ the sister told the nypost.
She said her brother once managed a NYC parking lot in ‘making good money.’
Horrified & heartbroken to hear about this attack. My thoughts are with this woman’s family & loved ones.
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) January 15, 2022
Asian hate crime?
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, said he’s seen the suspect ‘many times’ in the subway system.
‘He will have a conversation and then all of a sudden he will have a psychotic disorder,’ Sliwa said. ‘Again, an Asian gets pushed in front of a train. How many times does this have to happen? Asians are being attacked every which way.’
The NYPD said the attack might have been random, and there was no indication that the victim had necessarily been targeted because of her race or ethnicity.
The shoving was the second one on the same Times Square platform in a little more than two months.
On Nov. 12, a mugger pushed a woman — who was also Asian — onto the tracks. She was rescued by good Samaritans before a train came.
Through Dec. 12 of 2021, straphangers had been pushed onto the tracks 27 times, up from 25 during the same period in 2020, according to the NYPD.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said the latest incident “underscores our current crisis.”
‘The city should absolutely provide help and services — real services — for those who need it. But those who are a danger to themselves and others cannot be allowed to remain in the subways and on the streets. We know there are common-sense solutions on the table — we need to get them up and running ASAP,’ Lynch said.
It remained unclear how authorities would commit to affecting ‘said solutions….’ as crime in NYC continues to escalate.