WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A homeless man accused of pushing a Hunter College student in front of an oncoming Metro-North train last year has pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Prosecutors said Howard Mickens, 40, attacked Maya Leggat at the White Plains station on Sept. 25, 2013.

Leggat was struck by the train and sustained numerous injuries, including a broken back, a severed finger, multiple broken bones and lacerations across her body.

When Mickens tried to flee the scene, several commuters who witnessed the incident followed him and notified police of what happened, prosecutors said.

“This defendant’s vicious and unprovoked attack is every commuter’s nightmare,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore. “Without any warning or prior interaction, a young woman on her way to college was shoved in front of a moving train. While this young woman’s quick and clear headed thinking saved her life, this defendant will be held to account for his actions and serve the maximum sentence.”

Mickens faces 25 years in prison at his sentencing next month.

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