Asian woman who volunteered to help the homeless pushed to her death in New York subway by vagrant

The suspect had approached another woman before pushing Go to her death.

Matthias Ang | January 18, 2022, 08:12 PM

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A 40-year-old Asian-American woman who was pushed to her death in front of a moving train in New York City had spent years helping the homeless, New York Daily News reported.

Unprovoked attack

Michelle Alyssa Go had been shoved from behind by a 61-year-old homeless man, Simon Martial , on the morning of Jan. 15, while she was waiting for the train at a station in Times Square.

She died at the scene.

Martial subsequently surrendered himself to the police and admitted to what he did.

The New York Post further reported quoted New York Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell as saying, "This incident was unprovoked and the victim does not appear to have any interaction with the subject."

Did not see the attacker running up to her

The police also highlighted that just prior to attacking Go, Martial had approached another woman who was not Asian. However, this woman became alarmed and move away.

The New York Daily News quoted Assistant Chief Jason Wilcox of the NYPD Detective Bureau as saying:

"He approaches her, he gets in her space. She gets ... very alarmed. She tries to move away from him and he gets close to her. And she feels he was about to physically push her onto the train."

The woman then witnessed Martial pushing Go in front of the train while she was walking away.

Another woman who witnessed the attack, Maria Coste-Weber, gave the following description according to the New York Times:

"He started running with both of his hands in front of him, like, tackling. But it was so fast, nobody realized what was going on before it was too late."

Coste-Weber added, "She had her back to this crazy person. She never saw anything."

When asked by reporters later at night on the same day, while being escorted from a police station in Manhattan to meet a judge, as to whether he had pushed Go, he replied: "Yeah because I’m God. Yes I did. I’m God, I can do it."

Go had volunteered at a charity that focused on NYC's socioeconomic problems

Go's passing sparked an outpouring of grief from both friends and family.

She had volunteered at the New York Junior League, a charity focused on socioeconomic problems in New York City, for more than 10 years, according to New York Daily News.

People she worked with while volunteering included seniors, recovering homeless people, immigrants, as well as children who were struggling academically within under-resourced elementary and middle schools, and their parents, according to the charity's President, Dayna Barlow Cassidy.

Cassidy added, "Michelle will be missed by many friends. We call upon the city’s leadership to urgently address the lack of mental health and other supports for underserved communities."

Cassidy also told CBS New York that what hurt the most was that Go had been trying to help those such as Martial.

Asian-American community leaders say incident adds to their fear, even if incident is not racially-motivated

Asian-American community leaders said that even if the incident on Jan. 15 was not racially motivated, it has added to a sense of fear among the community.

The charter president of the Chinese-American Citizen’s Alliance of Greater New York, Wai Wah Chin, was quoted by the New York Post as saying:

"This is horrifying. It’s a horrible attack on yet another one of our citizens. This has to stop."

Meanwhile, the Vice-President of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, Canella Gomez, said that the operator of the train which hit Go had been taken to hospital for treatment.

Calling for a plan to handle the city's homeless situation within the subway, she said:

"No train operator comes to work expecting to have a passenger thrown in front of his or her train. This is the part of the job that no one is ever truly physically, mentally or emotionally prepared for."

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Top collage left photo via Linkedin, right screenshot via CBS New York YouTube