Asian woman dies after being pushed onto subway tracks in New York

40-year-old Michelle Go (L) and 61-year-old Simon Martial.
40-year-old Michelle Go (L) and 61-year-old Simon Martial. Photo credit: New York Post

A woman has died in New York after being pushed onto subway tracks and struck by an oncoming train. 

Local resident Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, was waiting at Times Square-42nd Street subway station in downtown New York when she was "suddenly pushed" onto the tracks at around 9:40am on Saturday (local time).

The man fled the scene but turned himself into a local police station a short time later, NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

"This was a senseless, absolutely senseless act of violence," Sewell said.

"This incident was unprovoked, and the victim does not appear to have had any interaction with the subject," Sewell said.

The woman was found under the train by police with "severe trauma" to her body and was pronounced dead at the scene, Sewell added. 

Police identified the man as 61-year-old Simon Martial, who has now been charged with murder in connection to the incident. 

"He does have in the past three emotionally disturbed encounters with us that we have documented," Wilcox said.

Investigators said they believe the man was experiencing homelessness at the time of the assault.

As Martial left the police station on Saturday night, he yelled at reporters to "go f**k yourself" when asked if he had killed the 40-year-old woman. 

"Yeah because I'm God. Yes I did. I'm God, I can do it," Martial shouted to reporters, adding "she stole my f***ing jacket, that's why".

A second woman told police that the man had approached her minutes earlier and she was worried that he would push her onto the tracks. 

"He approaches her and he gets in her space. She gets very, very alarmed," Assistant Chief Jason 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."

Police are investigating whether the incident was a hate crime but said that the first woman Martial approached was not Asian.   

New York City has experienced a drastic rise in anti-Asian hate crimes last year with police data showing incidents targeting Asians rose by 361 percent by December 2021, according to NBC News. 

State Senator John Liu has called on the city to take immediate actions amid a rise in attacks on Asians.

"It's 2022 and Asians in New York City and around America still suffer from relentless and hate-fuelled attacks on a regular basis," Liu said.