Suspect arrested in pushing of man to death in NYC subway
Serim Han listens Wednesday during a news conference in New York City concerning the death of her husband, Ki-Suck Han.
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NEW YORK -- The daughter of a man pushed in front of a subway train and photographed a split-second before his death said Wednesday after a suspect was arrested that it "would have been great" if someone had helped her father up but "what's done is done."
A freelance photographer for the New York Post was waiting for a train Monday afternoon when he said he saw a man approach 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han at the Times Square station, get into an altercation with him and push him into the train's path.
Naeem Davis, 30, was taken into custody for questioning Tuesday after security video showed a man fitting the suspect's description working with street vendors near Rockefeller Center. Police said Mr. Davis made statements implicating himself in Mr. Han's death.
- The man accused of shoving another man to his death in front of a New York City subway previously lived in Beaver County and was arrested several times there on drug and theft charges.
- Court records show that Naeem Davis moved from New Brighton to Beaver Falls and then Industry. He was charged in connection with nine incidents between January 2002 and January 2003.
- His record includes convictions on charges of theft, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault and escape.
- New York City police arrested Davis in Manhattan on Tuesday and charged him in connection with the subway pushing on Wednesday.
Mr. Davis, who police said was homeless, was arrested on a second-degree murder charge. He was in custody, and it wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
Mr. Han's only child, Ashley, 20, said at a news conference Wednesday that her father was always willing to help someone. But when asked about why no one helped him up, she said: "What's done is done."
"The thought of someone helping him up in a matter of seconds would have been great," she said.
Ashley Han stood with her mother, Serim Han, inside their Presbyterian church in the borough of Queens. The family came to the U.S. from South Korea about 25 years ago. They said Ki-Suck Han was unemployed and had been looking for work.
Their pastor said the family was so upset by a front-page photo of Mr. Han in the Post that they had to stay with him for comfort.
"I just wish I had one last chance to tell my dad how much I love him," Ashley Han said.
The Post photo in Tuesday's edition showed Ki-Suck Han with his head turned toward the train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time.
The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he was trying to alert the motorman to what was going on by flashing his camera.
He said he was shocked that people nearer to the victim didn't try to help in the 22 seconds before the train struck.
"It took me a second to figure out what was happening ... I saw the lights in the distance. My mind was to alert the train," Mr. Abbasi said.
"The people who were standing close to him ... they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him up. No one made an effort," he added.
In a written account Mr. Abbasi gave the Post, he said a crowd took videos and snapped photos on their cell phones after Mr. Han was pulled, limp, onto the platform.
Mr. Abbasi said he shoved them back as a doctor and another man tried to resuscitate the victim, but Mr. Han died in front of them.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Mr. Han, "if I understand it, tried to break up a fight or something and paid for it with his life."
The suspect's last known address was in a working-class neighborhood in Queens. The only neighbor who even vaguely remembered Mr. Davis was Charles Dawes, 80, who stays with his son two doors down.
Mr. Davis "came and went, came and went, and he always looked serious," Mr. Dawes said. "But I haven't seen him for three or four months."
Subway pushes are feared but fairly unusual. Among the more high-profile cases was the January 1999 death of Kendra Webdale, who was shoved to her death by a former mental patient.
First Published December 6, 2012 12:00 am