Man accused in New York City subway push death is acquitted

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NEW YORK (AP) – A jury on Monday acquitted a man accused of killing a stranger by shoving him into the path of a New York City subway train that struck him minutes later.

Manhattan jurors reached the verdict Monday at the trial of Naeem Davis, who said it was self-defense.

Davis, 34, said Ki-Suck Han, 58, was the drunken instigator of the deadly altercation on a train platform near Times Square in December 2012.

Davis said that after they accidentally bumped into each other, Han followed him down the platform, berated him with obscenities, grabbed his shoulder and hurled death threats.

Prosecutors brought a murder charge against him, arguing he had shown a “depraved indifference” to Han’s life. He also was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

The jury forewoman hugged Davis as he left the courtroom, according to The New York Times.

Davis claimed that after the accidental bump, Han began yelling, “I’ll kill you!” He also said Han was staggering and slurring his words.

“I don’t know you, you don’t know me!” Davis said he responded before trying to walk away.

Davis said that after Han tried to grab him, he pushed Han away.

He described Han falling “head first onto the tracks and rolling like a bowling ball,” the document says. At least a minute passed before the train hit Han.

The scene was captured by a tabloid news photographer.

In written and videotaped statements, Davis admitted watching as Han tried in vain to climb off the tracks before the train struck him, according to a prosecution document.

Davis said he “freaked” and fled.

Davis, who came to the United States from Sierra Leone, also said he “shouldn’t have let this happen,” according to the document.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com