Woman dies after being pushed onto subway tracks in New York City
The Chinese-American woman’s death has once again heightened fears of Anti-Asian crimes in the city.
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On Saturday, Jan. 15, at around 9:30 a.m, a woman was pushed to her death in front of an oncoming train at a New York City subway station near 42nd Street and Broadway.
The 40-year-old woman, identified as Chinese-American Michelle Go, was shoved onto the tracks and struck by a southbound R train and pronounced dead at the scene.
Michelle Go was 40 years old. She worked at Deloitte. She is from CA, a graduate of UCLA and NYU Stern. She took spin classes and was a good friend & neighbor. Michelle Go had the right to be safe on the subway. Every person has the right to feel safe. https://t.co/ZgS4cZB0fg— Min Jin Lee (@minjinlee11) January 17, 2022
At a news conference on Jan. 16, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that the suspect fled the scene but turned himself in to transit police a short time later.
“This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject,” Sewell said.
The assailant has been identified as Simon Martial, a 61-year-old homeless man with a history of arrests and mental illness.
“He does have in the past three emotionally disturbed encounters with us that we have documented,” said Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox.
Before killing Go, Martial attempted to push another woman towards the tracks.
40-year-old Michelle Go was killed when she was shoved in front of an oncoming train yesterday. She was an employee at Deloitte. Vigil planned for her this week. Simon Martial is still awaiting arraignment. He is undergoing psychiatric evaluation at the hospital. pic.twitter.com/tEtjrQkLHE— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) January 16, 2022
While it’s not clear that the attack was race related, it does raise concerns amid a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in NYC and around the country. Police officials said the killing, and whether it was a hate crime, is under investigation. But they did note that the first woman that Martial allegedly approached was not Asian.
“The latest attack causing the death of an Asian-American woman in the Times Square subway station is particularly horrifying for our community,” said Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Fung said the community is still grieving the Dec. 31 death of Yao Pan Ma, a Chinese immigrant who was assaulted in April while collecting cans in East Harlem.
"These attacks have left Asian Americans across the city and across the country feeling vulnerable and they must stop," Fung said in a statement.
According to her LinkedIn page, Go was an MBA graduate of NYU’s prestigious Stern School of Business, lived on the Upper West Side, and worked for Deloitte in strategy and operations.
Go was also known for her volunteer efforts over the past ten years with the New York Junior League, where she served those struggling to get and stay on their feet, including the homeless population.
“Michelle’s focus populations were seniors, recovering homeless, immigrants, and under-resourced and academically struggling elementary and middle school kids and their parents,” a Junior League rep told The New York Post on Sunday.
In recent months there have been several incidents of people being stabbed, assaulted or shoved onto the tracks at stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and at Times Square.
Mayor Eric Adams, who has been in office for two weeks, said that a perception of danger could drive more people to avoid taking the subway, complicating the city’s economic recovery.
“We want to continue to highlight how imperative it is that people receive the right mental health services, particularly on our subway system. To lose a New Yorker in this fashion will only continue to elevate the fears of individuals not using our subway system,’ Adams said.
Joining Adams on Saturday to discuss the state of the subways, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she has plans to assemble five teams of social workers and medical professionals to help the city guide people living on the streets and subways to shelter, housing and services.
“My heart is with the victim’s loved ones and with all who witnessed and responded to the devastating incident. We will continue working with the mayor to ensure everyone feels safe in our subway system,” Hochul tweeted.