Police in New York City on Friday released surveillance video of the woman suspected of pushing a man to his death in front of a subway train, the second such crime in the city this month.
The video shows the woman running from the elevated platform Thursday night. Witnesses told police she had been following the man closely and mumbling to herself. She got up from a nearby bench and shoved him as the train pulled in.
It did not appear the man noticed her, police said. He was pinned under the train as it came to a stop, and police said the condition of the man's body was making it difficult to identify him.
The woman was described as Hispanic, in her 20s and heavyset.
It was unclear if the man and the woman knew each other or if anyone tried to help the man before he was struck and killed at the station in the borough of Queens.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg pointed Friday to legal and policy changes that led to the release of many mentally ill people from psychiatric institutions from the 1960s through the 1990s.
"The courts or the law have changed and said, no, you can't do that unless they're a danger to society; our laws protect you. That's fair enough," Bloomberg told radio station WOR-AM.
It was the second time this month someone had been shoved to their death on subway tracks.
On Dec. 3, 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han was pushed in front of a train in Times Square. A photograph of him on the tracks a split second before he was killed was published on the front of the New York Post the next day, causing an uproar and debate over whether the photographer, who had been waiting for a train, should have tried to help him and whether the newspaper should have run the image.
A homeless man, 30-year-old Naeem Davis, was charged with murder in Han's death and was ordered held without bail. He has pleaded not guilty and has said that Han had attacked him first. The two men hadn't met before.
Being pushed onto the train tracks is a silent fear for many commuters who ride the city's subway, which carries more than 5.2 million riders on an average weekday. But deaths are rare.
"It's just a really sad commentary on the world and on human beings, period," said Howard Roth, who takes the subway daily. "I guess the best thing is what they tell you _ don't stand near the edge, and keep your eyes open."