Man killed when assailant pushed him onto subway tracks in New York

The incident took place in the Bronx, where the victim was waiting for the D train at the 167th street stop with his wife. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The incident took place in the Bronx, where the victim was waiting for the D train at the 167th street stop with his wife. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - A 61-year-old man was killed on Sunday in New York when he was pushed onto subway tracks by an unknown assailant, said police who released a video of the suspect.

The incident took place in the Bronx, where the victim, identified as Wai Kuen Kwok, was waiting for the D train at the 167th street stop with his wife. The couple were headed to Chinatown in lower Manhattan.

The suspect pushed the man from the platform just as a train arrived in the station, shortly before 9.00 am (1400 GMT), as his horrified wife watched helplessly.

The victim and his attacker did not appear to know each other and had not argued, witnesses said.

Police released a video of the suspected killer, who left the scene by bus. On the video, a man wearing a black jacket over a dark t-shirt gets off the bus, goes into a store, and emerges to smoke a cigarette as he ambles away.

A reward of US$2,000 (S$2,595) was offered for any information that could help the investigation.

Every year, dozens of people are killed by the subway in New York through accident or suicide.

However, this is the first known incident of a person being pushed to his or her death on the tracks since December 2012, when two people were killed in separate attacks.

On Dec 28, a woman pushed an Indian immigrant to his death in Queens. Weeks earlier on Dec 3, a man was pushed from a stop in Manhattan during a fight with a deranged man.

A New York Post front-page picture of the man on the tracks a split-second before he was killed by the oncoming train provoked public fury as to why no one helped him, and why the tabloid newspaper published the photo.