Woman dies after being pushed on subway tracks in Times Square

An Asian woman was killed Saturday morning after being pushed in front of an approaching subway at Times Square station, police said.

The woman was waiting on the platform around 9:30 a.m. for the train to arrive at the 42nd Street station in Manhattan, police said. When an R train pulled into the station in Brooklyn, she was pushed onto the track and hit by it.

She died on the spot, police said. Her name was not immediately released. It was unclear if she was targeted because she was Asian.

Officers arrested a man shortly after, who was still being questioned around 11 a.m., police said.

The killing is at the root of several issues that have raised concerns among some New Yorkers about subway safety since the start of the pandemic, and came after state and city officials announced changes this month to how the police would operate in the transit system.

More than 2,000 officers have been assigned to patrol the system and will conduct more regular checks on it, Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams said, as they strive to lure more horsemen back.

The state is also developing teams of social workers and medical professionals to work with officers to provide services to the thousands of homeless people who live on the streets and on trains.

Mr Adams said he believed an underlying “perception of crime” had raised concerns among some subway travelers.

Transit officials have stressed that the number of serious crimes in the system is the lowest in decades, and that the number of serious crimes is the lowest combined total in 25 years through November. However, the number of passengers was also much lower and the crime rate per million passengers has increased since 2019.

High-profile attacks against Asian New Yorkers during the pandemic, along with other episodes such as assaults, stabbings and pushing people onto the tracks, have also sparked a spate of news reports of violence that transportation officials say has fueled fears.

In 2019, three murders were reported in the system; that the number doubled to six in 2020. Through November, six homicides were also reported in 2021.

Michael Gold reporting contributed.