New York mayor insists subway is safe after woman shoved on to tracks and killed at Times Square station

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Michelle Alyssa Go, who was killed in the attack
Michelle Alyssa Go, who was killed in the attack

The mayor of New York has insisted that the city’s subway system is safe, despite another random pushing attack which killed a “wonderful” businesswoman.

Michelle Alyssa Go, a senior manager at Deloitte, was shoved on to the tracks at Times Square station on Saturday morning and struck by an oncoming train.

The 40-year-old was pushed from behind and did not see her attacker, whom police have named as 61-year-old homeless man Simon Martial.

The horrifying death is the latest high-profile incident on the city’s underground network. In recent months there have been several instances of people being stabbed, assaulted or shoved on to the tracks at stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and at Times Square.

However, Eric Adams, the newly inaugurated Democrat mayor, insisted: “New Yorkers are safe on the subway system. I think it’s about 1.7 per cent of the crimes in New York City that occur on the subway system.

Mayor Eric Adams, foreground, with city law officials, speaks at a news conference inside a subway station after a woman was pushed to her death in front of a subway train - NYPD News via AP
Mayor Eric Adams, foreground, with city law officials, speaks at a news conference inside a subway station after a woman was pushed to her death in front of a subway train - NYPD News via AP

“Think about that for a moment,” the former NYPD transit officer said at a press conference. “What we must do is remove the perception of fear.

“Cases like this aggravate the perception of fear,” he said

“When you see homeless individuals with mental health issues not being attended to and given the proper services, that adds to the perception of fear,” Mr Adams said.

The mayor has been criticised for his comments, with people saying they do not reflect the actuality of the situation.

Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and NY Post columnist, said: “We don’t have a perception problem of subway violence. We have a reality problem. Sixteen random unprovoked stranger subway murders since March 20 (including 2 this new year) are enough.”

The man believed to be responsible fled the scene but turned himself in to transit police a short time later, police commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

A second woman told police the man had approached her minutes earlier and she feared he would push her on to the tracks.

Police at the scene at Times Square station - Jeenah Moon/The New York Times
Police at the scene at Times Square station - Jeenah Moon/The New York Times

Over the weekend, Ms Go, an MBA graduate of NYU’s prestigious Stern School of Business, was described by friends and neighbours as “wonderful, kind and smart.”

She volunteered with the New York Junior League, who told the New York Post: “Michelle’s focus populations were seniors, recovering homeless, immigrants, and under resourced and academically struggling elementary and middle school kids and their parents.’’

The shocking incident came just days after another woman was pushed in front of a train in Brussels, Belgium.

A 55-year-old woman was pushed onto the tracks as a metro train was approaching, but mercifully, it stopped just inches from her head.

A 23-year-old suspect, who was not named, was arrested for attempted murder after the incident at the Rogier underground station on the evening of January 14.

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