Man suspected of pushing girlfriend onto subway tracks arrested

Christian Valdez, 35, was charged with attempted murder and felony assault

Martha McHardy
Monday 11 March 2024 12:41 GMT
New York governor defends deployment of National Guard on subways

A man has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend onto the tracks of a Manhattan subway, causing her feet to be severed by a train.

Christian Valdez, 35, was charged with attempted murder and felony assault after an argument occurred between him and his girlfriend on the platform of Fulton Street subway station at around 10.30am on Saturday, police said.

During the argument, Mr Valdez allegedly pushed her onto the tracks, cops added. A moment later, a downtown No. 3 train bore down on her.

Witnesses told the New York Daily News that the 29-year-old woman, who has not been named, could allegedly be heard screaming “I don’t deserve this! I don’t deserve this!” as the train came to a stop.

NYPD officers arrived on the scene at around 10.30am to find the woman on the tracks, conscious and responsive.

She was then rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where her feet were amputated, according to the police and a law enforcement official.

Police said she is expected to survive.

A man has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend onto the tracks of a Manhattan subway
A man has been charged with attempted murder after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend onto the tracks of a Manhattan subway (Getty Images)

Mr Valdez fled the scene following the incident, but was arrested roughly 10 hours later on Saturday, according to the NYPD.

He was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Valdez had previously served time in prison for slashing a woman and her three-year-old child in 2017, police confirmed to ABC News.

On 13 September 2017, he attacked Jenny Aquino and her then-three-year-old daughter, Bella, stabbing the little girl in the arm and knifing her mother in the stomach.

Police sources also told the New York Daily News that Mr Valdez has a total of four past assault arrests on his record, and was still on parole for an attempted assault conviction in the Bronx from 2020, according to public records.

He was sentenced to up to eight years in prison in that case but was released on parole in January 2023.

Police said Mr Valdez’s address was listed as a Brooklyn women’s shelter.

Saturday’s attack came after New York Governor Kathy Hochul last week announced an initiative to deploy 750 members of the National Guard and 250 state and MTA police officers to subway stations to deter crime.

The new deployment, which drew intense criticism from New Yorkers, the police and members of both political parties, is in addition to the 1,000 New York City police officers who were ordered to patrol subway lines and do security checks on bags in the nation’s largest transit system last month following an attack on a conductor and other high-profile crimes.

Overall crime in the transit system fell last year as the number of daily riders rose by 14 per cent, according to police and MTA officials. However, subway stations have seen a 15 per cent increase in felony assaults this year, while major crime increased by about 13 per cent between 1 January and 3 March, according to Police Department data.

So far, the transit system has been the scene of three homicides in 2024, up from one killing from this time period last year.

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