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Man is charged with pushing a woman’s head against a moving subway train


A 39-year-old man was charged Tuesday with pushing a woman’s head against a moving subway train in an apparently random attack at a Manhattan station that left the woman critically injured, police said.

The man, Kamal Semrade, was arrested late Monday at a homeless shelter near La Guardia Airport in Queens, police said. He was charged with attempted murder and assault and was awaiting arraignment Tuesday night, officials said.

The push episode was the latest disturbing example of the kind of random violent crime that has made some New Yorkers wary of the subway and led officials to flood stations with police officers to reassure riders that the mass transit system is safe.

Mr. Semrade and his victim, 35, boarded the same E train early Sunday, where Mr. Semrade first got in by jumping on a counter, police said. Both got off when the train stopped at the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street station around 6, police said. (E ran on the F line due to track work.)

As the train began to pull out, the police said, Mr. Semrade approached the woman from behind and pushed her head into it, causing her to fall back onto the platform. She was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition with spinal cord injuries and lacerations to her head, police said.

Police did not release the woman’s name, but an online fundraiser set up to help pay her medical expenses identifies her as Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy, an illustrator and designer who immigrated to New York from Turkey.

Images of the attacker captured by cameras at the station and circulated by police helped lead to Mr. Semrade’s arrest, officials said. The photos show him wearing a dark shirt, dark pants and white shoes and holding a coffee cup.

Richard Davey, the president of New York City Transit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority division that operates the subway, praised the police department for quickly making an arrest.

“It is now up to prosecutors to pursue the maximum consequences available under the law,” Mr. Davey in a statement.

Investigators believe Mr. Semrade had been living at the Queens shelter for two years, police said. But city social services records show he has been assigned to a shelter in the Bronx since April 2021, according to a person with access to the records who was not authorized to speak about them publicly. The reason for the apparent discrepancy was unclear.

Maria Cramer and Andy Newman contributed reporting. Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

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