NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The woman accused of shoving a man in front of a subway train in Queens last month blamed a “bad day” for her actions in a recent interview.
Erika Menendez, 31, stands charged with second degree murder as a hate crime for allegedly pushing Sunando Sen, 46, onto the tracks as a 7 train was approaching the 40th-Lowery St. station on Dec .27.
Menendez spoke to The New York Post Friday at Rikers Island, where she is awaiting trial for the killing.
Menendez told the newspaper her “mind was just racing,” the day of the attack.
She said, “I was homeless. I was hungry. I was fighting with my boyfriend. He came running up the stairs, and I just got up and pushed him.”
In the interview Menendez also repeated her earlier statement that she picked her victim because of his ethnicity.
She said she had wanted to “hurt Muslims and Hindus” since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the newspaper. However, she was not mad about the thousands who were killed in the attack, but rather, she told the newspaper, because she “liked the buildings.”
The victim, Sen, was Hindu. Menendez says she has “been beating up Muslims and Hindus for a long time.”
At a hearing this past Monday, a judge ruled that Menendez is fit to stand trial on murder charges in the case. Menendez was not in court for the hearing. A lawyer hired by the woman’s family said she remains hospitalized.
In the days after the Dec. 27 shoving incident, police said that Menendez’s family had previously called authorities several times because she had not been properly taking her prescribed medication.
Witnesses said Menendez was pacing and talking to herself in the minutes before the incident on the subway platform. After allegedly shoving Sen, Menendez was captured on surveillance video running out of the subway station.
According to police, there was no interaction between Sen and Menendez before the shoving incident.
She had been arrested several times prior, according to police. She pleaded guilty to assaulting a man in 2003, and drug possession.
Menendez was incoherent at her arraignment in Queens criminal court last month, at one point laughing so hard that the judge told her defense lawyer, “You’re going to have to have your client stop laughing.”
Menendez is due to be arraigned on an indictment on Jan. 29.
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