Homeless man charged in subway rider's death

December 6, 2012 9:50:44 AM

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NEW YORK -- As New York City straphangers pondered what they would do in a similar nightmare situation, authorities charged a homeless man in the death of a Queens resident pushed in front of an oncoming subway train and killed as onlookers watched.  

 

"I would certainly try to do whatever I possibly could," said Denise Martorana, 34, as she waited for the "A" train at Penn Station on Wednesday evening. 

 

"I certainly wouldn't be able to stand there and watch, that's for sure," she said. 

 

Naeem Davis, 30, was arraigned Wednesday night on a second-degree murder charge and ordered held without bail in the death of 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han on Monday. He is due back in court on Dec. 11. 

 

Davis has several prior arrests in New York and Pennsylvania on mostly minor charges including drug possession. 

 

Han's death got widespread attention not only for its horrific nature, but because he was photographed a split-second before the train trapped him and seemingly no one attempted to come to his aid. 

 

Han's only child, 20-year-old Ashley, said at a news conference Wednesday that her father was always willing to help someone. But when asked about why no one helped him up, she said: "What's done is done." 

 

"The thought of someone helping him up in a matter of seconds would have been great," she said. 

 

A freelance photographer for the New York Post was waiting for a train Monday afternoon when he said he saw a man approach Han at the Times Square station, get into an altercation with him and push him into the train's path. 

 

The Post photo in Tuesday's edition showed Ki-Suck Han with his head turned toward the train, his arms reaching up but unable to climb off the tracks in time. 

 

The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he was trying to alert the motorman to what was going on by flashing his camera. 

 

He said he was shocked that people nearer to the victim didn't try to help in the 22 seconds before the train struck. 

 

"The people who were standing close to him ... they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him up. No one made an effort," he added. 

 

In a written account Abbasi gave the Post, he said a crowd took videos and snapped photos on their cellphones after Han was pulled, limp, onto the platform. He said he shoved them back as a doctor and another man tried to resuscitate the victim, but Han died in front of them.