Posted 9 days ago
A New York woman who was pushed onto the subway tracks by a mentally ill person said that she cannot remember what happened, and thought she had fainted.
Liliana Sagbaicela, 40, was lucky to survive the random attack on Thursday morning at Union Station in Manhattan.
Patrick Lynch, the president of the largest police union, accused politicians of 'wishing the problem away' and not doing enough to deal with mentally-ill people and troublemakers.
'We recommend that all New Yorkers keep both eyes wide open while in our transit system,' he said.
Sagbaicela, a mother of two, miraculously escaped without any broken bones following Thursday's attack, but needed stitches in her head.
In surveillance footage from the station a homeless man, Aditya Vemulapati, 24, can be seen pacing up and down the platform, singling out Sagbaicela and then violently pushing her onto the tracks with both hands as the train pulled into the station.
Sagbaicela falls beneath the train, to the horror of others on the platform, and manages to land in the small space between its rolling wheels.
'I'll be honest, I still can't believe it,' she told the New York Daily News on Friday.
'For me everything was so fast, so strong that I lost all senses. So I can't remember much of what happened.'
She said she only realized what had taken place when she came round at Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated for a head injury.
'In a way it's better that I can't remember because I'll be traumatized,' she told the paper.
'I have a blurry image, but I don't know if it's true, that I opened my eyes and I saw that the train was coming. But I don't know if that happened, if I really could see it.
'I never felt the fall or anything,' she said. 'I never saw him. He was always behind me.'
Her attacker was charged with attempted murder and reckless endangerment, and was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday. His next court date is December 4.
Sagbaicela, a housekeeper who lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, said she thought she had fainted and fallen onto the tracks.
The staff at Bellevue told her what happened.
'I said, 'No, I fell. I fainted,' she recalled.
She said a policeman told her: 'No, you didn't faint. We have all the evidence.'
Her attack was seized upon by Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, who accused ... (Read more)