NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 26-year-old man accused of shoving a woman into the side of a moving subway train was convicted of assault on Friday but acquitted of attempted murder.
Jose Rojas, who worked as a cook at Cipriani, has been found guilty of first degree assault for pushing Ute Linhart, a German native who works in Midtown, into a subway train pulling into the station at West 28th Street and Broadway on Aug. 11, 2010.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case
“The victim endured every New Yorker’s nightmare,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “The defendant’s actions caused the victim to suffer life-long injuries and nearly caused her death.”
Defense attorneys said Rojas was so intoxicated on the night of the incident that he could have stumbled into Linhart.
“This is a situation in which there was a drunken man on the platform, as the people conceded, who may have stumbled, may have tripped and bumped into Ms. Linhart causing this accident,” said attorney Steven Ross.
Linhart had testified that this was no accident, that there was no way a drunk had stumbled into her.
She said Rojas looked directly into her face with a crazy stare and then moved behind her.
The 40-year-old said she felt two hands on her back and was then propelled into the first car of the train.
Prosecutors said Rojas tried to flee but was stropped by several bystanders who detained him until police arrived.
Linhart suffered extensive injuries to her face, ribs, and shoulders, as well as nerve and spinal damage.
She says she’ll be in pain for the rest of her life.
Rojas will be sentenced on March 16.