NEW YORK — It is every New Yorker’s worst nightmare, and thankfully it rarely happens. But the nightmare turned real, and police Monday were searching for clues that could lead them to the person who pushed a man into the path of an oncoming subway train that killed him.
Police Monday released video of a man they wanted to question in the incident. The man was captured on video before the apparently random crime, which left 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok dead beneath a D train and his wife screaming in terror. There were few witnesses, because the assault occurred at about 8:40 a.m. Sunday at a Bronx station that is not generally crowded at that time.
The video shows the balding man in white athletic shoes and a black jacket boarding a bus outside the subway station minutes after Kwok was shoved. Later, the man is captured on video smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk outside a market in the area.
Police did not name the man or call him a suspect. Fliers posted around the subway stop offered a $2,000 reward for information that could solve the crime, the third time in two years that someone has been killed by being pushed into a subway train’s path.
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In December 2012, scores of subway riders watched as a 58-year-old Queens man was crushed by a train after being pushed onto a track in midtown Manhattan. The case sparked controversy because of a freelance photographer’s picture of the victim trying to scramble to safety seconds before he was run down.
Critics questioned why more people did not rush to help the victim, Ki-Suck Han. A homeless man who had apparently argued with him was charged in his death.
Later that month, a woman was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime after an Indian immigrant, Sunando Sen, was pushed in front of a subway train in Queens. The woman allegedly told police she did it because she hated Muslims and Hindus.
Each year, dozens of people die after falling onto the subway tracks or climbing down from the platforms to retrieve items. Last year, 53 people died on the tracks, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has signs posted in trains urging people not to go onto the tracks. Announcements on subway platforms also warn travelers to stand back as trains approach.