A man lost his life in the New York subway system after he was sucker-punched onto the tracks.
NBC New York reported that Jacinto Suarez, 65, of Staten Island encountered Edward Cordero, 18, on the R train platform at the Jay St.-MetroTech station. Suarez was on his way home following a trip regarding his social security benefits, according to New York Daily News. Cordero allegedly did not take medication that day for his mental illness and was talking to himself up and down the platform.
Suarez told Cordero to “get away” when he approached him on the platform. NYPD Assistant Chief Vincent Coogan explained that Cordero walked away, “then turned back and punched [Suarez].”
Witnesses on the platform began to panic.
“Everybody was screaming and we started to run,” recalled Jai Epperson, 22. “It could have been me.”
The punch sent Suarez flying on the tracks, where he then suffered a massive heart attack. Investigators are currently unsure if Suarez climbed onto the platform or if someone helped him back up so that he could avoid being hit by a train.
Suarez later passed away at Brooklyn Hospital.
Onlookers grabbed nearby police officers. Officers arrested Cordero, who had not left the area.
“My dad don’t bother nobody,” said Suarez’s 34-year-old daughter, Tylenea Gonzalez. “My dad don’t bother nobody. I don’t know why anybody would do that to him. He went, he came home. I’m not gonna have him here anymore.”
“What you gonna push an old man for?” asked another one of his daughters in anger.
Suarez left behind 10 children, including the two daughters, and 34 grandchildren.
“He was supposed to be on three different medications but he’s run out and refuses to get more,” explained Cordero’s sister, Daribel Lugones. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, his family detailed a period of terror when Cordero attacked his family members in the past.
A murder charge may be added to the list of pending charges against Cordero should an autopsy determine that his actions caused the heart attack that ended Suarez’s life.
As ABC7 News reported, investigators are still unaware of how Suarez was removed from the tracks. It is currently believed that someone used a cellphone to record efforts by good Samaritans to assist Suarez.
Investigators would like to speak with the person who recorded the video and the good Samaritans who helped Suarez off the track.