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Woman charged with murder for subway shoving death

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Police say Erica Menendez killed a complete stranger by pushing him in front of an oncoming train all because of the color of his skin.

Authorities charged 31-year-old Erika Menendez of Rego Park, Queens with Second Degree murder as a Hate Crime. Police say that Menendez admitted to shoving the victim, Sunando Sen an immigrant from India, because she said she "hates Hindus and Muslims." 

According to the Queens District Attorney's office, Menendez told authorities, "I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I've been beating them up." 

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown issued a statement:

"The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter's worst nightmare - being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train. The victim was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself. Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant's actions can never be tolerated by a civilized society." 

"To hear that she's your neighbor, that's shocking, very shocking," said one man. 

"It's asinine, stupid, ridiculous, I'm just glad they caught her," added another. 

That was the reaction by most of Menendez's Rego Park neighbors.

The victim's friends are relieved she is in custody but are having difficulty coping with their loss.     

Just as friends of the victim, Sunando Sen were meeting to plan his funeral; police announced they have a woman in custody believed to be responsible for pushing him to his death on the subway tracks. 

"I feel better that the person is not on the street anymore," said Ashim Dey, Victim's Friend. 

Relief Saturday from the close friends of Sen. He was waiting for the No. 7 train at the 40th Street-Lowery Station Thursday night when authorities say Menendez shoved him onto the tracks as the train approached. The suspect took off running. 

Sen was killed instantly. 

Saturday morning, police found the woman believed to be responsible after receiving a 911 tip. They picked her up in Brooklyn and say she made statements implicating herself in the crime. 

Sanjeeb Das, Sen's friend, was asked how hard this tragedy has been. "Yes, it's been very hard, because he's my friend -- my brother." 

Das was Sen's closest friend and co-owned a Manhattan print shop with him. He is still trying to make sense of how something like this could have happened. 

"Everybody liked him," said Das. "He never ever fought anybody, if you say bad things he never answered." 

Das says Sen emigrated from India more than 20 years ago to study economics. 

The pair just brought the printing business earlier this year. Sen was just 46 years old and never married or had children. He lived with roommates in Elmhurst where neighbors say he kept to himself. 

"I never imagined something like this could happen to a guy like him, he was a really nice and quiet guy," said Raymond Roy, a neighbor. 

Sen's funeral will be held at the Coppolo Migliore funeral home in Corona on Sunday. He'll be laid to rest Monday.

Menendez is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging her with second-degree murder as a hate crime. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

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