Quantcast
Latest Stories

Suspect in NYC subway death arrested before

By

In this Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 photo, New York City Police Department detectives escort Erika Menendez, second from left, out of the 112th Precinct in the Queens borough of New York. Menendez was arraigned Saturday night on a charge of murder as a hate crime. Judge Gia Morris has ordered that the 31-year-old be held without bail and be given a mental health exam. (AP Photo/Newsday, Danielle Finkelstein) NYC LOCALS OUT

NEW YORK — The family of a woman accused of shoving an Indian man to his death in front of a subway train called police several times in the past five years because she had not been taking prescribed medication and she was difficult to deal with, authorities said Monday.

Erika Menendez, 31, was being held without bail on a murder charge in the death of Sunando Sen. She told police she pushed the 46-year-old India native because she thought he was Muslim, and she hates them, according to prosecutors. They’d never met before she suddenly shoved him off the subway platform, because she “thought it would be cool,” prosecutors said. The victim was Hindu, not Muslim.

It wasn’t clear whether Menendez had a diagnosed mental condition. But her previous arrests and legal troubles paint a portrait of a troubled woman.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly would not say what medication she was taking or whether she had a psychiatric history. Authorities were called to her home five times since 2005 on reports of an emotionally disturbed person.

In one instance, police said, she threw a radio at the responding officers.

Menendez had been arrested several times, starting when she was young. In 2003, she was arrested on charges she punched a 28-year-old man in the face inside her Queens home, but the case was later dropped. She pleaded guilty later that year to assaulting a stranger on the street near her home. The victim, retired Fire Department Chief Daniel Conlisk, said the attack was violent and relentless.

He said he was sorting recyclables outside his home one night when Menendez approached him and punched him in the face, screaming that he was having sex with her mother.

He said he tried to fend her off as she clawed at his skin. He eventually broke free and went inside his home, where he called police. When they arrived, he said, she was still outside screaming about him having sex with her mother, and saying he had stolen jewelry from her in high school.

“That’s when everyone realized there’s really something wrong with her,” he said. Conlisk, 65, said he took out two restraining orders against her but never saw her after he was attacked.

He said he felt bad that he pressed charges, but she seemed dangerous.

“I really believe if she had a knife she would have killed me,” he said.

In December 2003, Menendez was arrested for cocaine possession. She was given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty.

Last Thursday, witnesses said a woman pacing and mumbling to herself suddenly shoved Sen off the elevated platform of a No. 7 train that travels between Manhattan and Queens. She fled.

Menendez was spotted by a passer-by who called 911 and said she resembled the wanted suspect. When she was arrested, she told police she shoved Sen because she blamed Muslims and Hindus for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and had been “beating them up” ever since, according to authorities. She said she thought Sen was Muslim. Sen, a Kolkata native, owned a print shop and lived in Queens for decades.

She laughed and snickered so much during her court hearing last weekend that the judge admonished her. The attorney who represented her only for her arraignment said she acted the same way with him when he tried to speak with her. He had no further comment.

Calls to Menendez’ home on Monday were unanswered. Angel Luis Santiago, who used to work at the Queens building where Menendez’s mother and stepfather live, said he was shocked by her arrest on the murder charge.

“It surprised me what she did,” he said. “She never acted that way.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crime , Erika Menendez , New York , News , subway death , US , world




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement