The deadly New York City subway push story is horrendous in so many ways. As of yesterday, the suspect was still on the loose, but then overnight, police found 30-year-old Naeem Davis, a homeless man who's paid to run errands for street vendors around Times Square. He had shaved his beard and dreadlocks so he was unrecognizable from the shaky surveillance video.
Still, Davis allegedly implicated himself in the crime and showed no remorse when questioned about the murder of 58-year-old Ki Suk Han. In fact, one source said he stuck around and "heard his torso snap and he knew he was dead."
Apparently the two had words outside the turnstile during which Han accused Davis of scaring people. Now, Han is dead and a city is left in shock and terrified by the one thing most subway riders always feared in the back of their head.
Because let's face it: Standing and waiting for a subway gives a person a lot of time to think. I imagine all kinds of things on a crowded platform, and I have considered how easy it would be for someone to push me (or my children) into the path of a train.
It doesn't happen that much because only a psychotic person would do such a thing, but it does happen. This isn't the first time. It's a horrifying way to die and my heart breaks for Han's family who had to see that awful photograph of their father and husband moments before his death.
This is every New Yorker's (and every person who uses ANY city's subway) nightmare. This may change nothing, but I know I will back a little farther away from the line when trains come now. I will give them more room to breathe. I will also be careful about interactions I have on the platform.
It may seem insane to use one isolated incident to imply so much, but the reality is this could happen again and it has happened before. Just the other day I got into a very heated fight while in heavy downtown traffic. I was sure the woman was going to get out of her car and kill me.
She didn't. Obviously. But transportation rage is a real thing. We all feel it in cars, on crowded buses, and on subway platforms. This could have happened to any one of us. My heart goes out to Han's family and I really wonder what, if anything, this will change in the minds of commuters everywhere. Maybe people will try to be a little kinder to one another.
One can hope.
Do you think this will change anything?
Image via dilworthdesigns/Flickr