NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The deadly subway push in the Bronx this last weekend left a haunting memory for the motorman who was operating the D Train that took the man’s life.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, it was not the first time New York City Transit Authority motorman James Muriel had witnessed such a horror.
“My husband hasn’t eaten. He can’t sleep, and it’s really bad,” the motorman’s wife, Daisy Muriel, said tearfully.
James Muriel was driving the D Train around 8:45 a.m. Sunday, when someone shoved Wai Kuen Kwok, 61, from the platform onto the tracks at the 167th Street and Grand Concourse station.
“When I see the gentleman in the air, I immediately applied the brake, so he was still airborne — but all the brakes in the train were applied,” James Muriel said.
He said there is no doubt in his mind that Kwok was violently shoved — just 10 feet in front of him.
“You could feel the bumps underneath the train. A passenger from my car was crying. I was crying,” James Muriel said. “I needed help getting out of the cab because my legs went numb. That’s because the next step is to descend to the road bed and find the body.”
It is a job that Muriel has done before. The 53-year-old motorman had just returned after a six-month leave after hitting a man who committed suicide on the Upper West Side. When he went under the train to find Kwok’s body on Sunday, it was like reliving a nightmare.
“He was face down. His hand was crushed. I believe his legs were also crushed,” Muriel said. “I really didn’t want to look at his face, because the last time I went through this, I looked at the gentleman’s face, and when I’m at the movie theater; when I’m food shopping; when I’m at the mall, I always see somebody that looks like the last victim.”
Police had a suspect in custody late Tuesday in connection with the attack. Detectives have also linked the suspect – identified as Kevin Darden, 34 — to two other crimes at subway stations – both of them earlier this month.
Surveillance cameras captured a man police identified as Darden shortly after the attack. He was seen boarding a Bx35 bus, and police said he then got off minutes later, entered a bodega and eventually left, nonchalantly smoking a cigarette.
“He must have some mental issues, because a sane person wouldn’t do something like this,” James Muriel said.
Charges were pending against Darden late Tuesday.
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