* New York man charged with murder and attempted murder
* Photographer who saw push says could not have saved victim
(Adds social media commentary)
By Chris Francescani
NEW YORK, Dec 5 A New York man was charged with
murder on Wednesday for pushing a subway rider onto the tracks
before he was crushed by an oncoming train at a Manhattan
station earlier this week.
Naeem Davis, 30, was charged with one count of second degree
murder and one count of second degree murder with depraved
indifference, New York City police said.
He is accused of pushing 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han onto the
tracks as a southbound train pulled into the 49th Street
station, police said. He is expected to be arraigned in New York
State Supreme Court later on Wednesday.
Davis was first brought in for questioning on Tuesday,
during which he "implicated himself in the incident," according
to Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.
Monday's incident has struck a nerve among riders of the
subway used by over 5 million riders a day who are often jostled
by strangers on often-crowded platforms.
Earlier on Wednesday, the news photographer whose pictures
of Han in the path of the train unleashed a maelstrom of
criticism, said he was too far from the victim to offer help.
R. Umar Abbasi, a freelance photographer for the tabloid New
York Post, said he rapidly shot dozens of frames so that his
flash might alert the motorman to the presence of the stunned
victim on the tracks.
Seconds later the train struck and killed Han, a resident of
"My condolences to the family, and if I could have, I would
have pulled Mr. Han out," Abbasi said on NBC's "Today" show.
The Post, no stranger to controversy over lurid headlines
and stories, sparked greater outrage than usual on Tuesday when
it featured one of Abbasi's photographs on its front page.
It showed Han trying to pull himself from the tracks and
looking into the lights of the oncoming train and the headlines
"DOOMED" and "Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to
'CAPITALIZING ON CITIZEN'S DEATH'
Criticism of Abbasi and The Post was rife in social media.
"As usual, nothing but disgust for #NYPost - capitalizing on
a citizen's death on the #MTA with gruesome, exploitative
headline & photo," read one tweet from a New York resident.
Another New Yorker tweeted, "I will seriously never buy
#NYPost or go to their site again. This is absolutely disgusting
and makes my skin crawl."
In a first-person account the Post published on Wednesday,
Abbasi said the incident "was one of the most horrible things I
have ever seen, to watch that man dying there.
"I didn't even know at all that I had even captured the
images in such detail."
Abbasi took a New York Times reporter back to the scene to
re-enact his movements after Han was thrown to the tracks after
having what witnesses described as an argument with Davis.
Abbasi told The Times that he held his camera outstretched
in front of the train, snapping his flash 49 times in a vain
attempt to get the motorman to slow down.
The motorman has been hospitalized for trauma after the
incident, the Post and New York Daily News reported.
"People think I had time to set the camera and take photos,
and that isn't the case," Abbasi wrote in the Post story.
"The sad part is, there were people who were close to the
victim, who watched and didn't do anything," he said. "You can
see it in the pictures."
(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Dan Burns and