The crazed woman who shoved a Queens immigrant to his gruesome death in front of a subway train told cops yesterday that she did so because she thought he was a Muslim, authorities said.
Erika Menendez, 31, was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime after admitting to investigators that she pushed Sunando Sen, 46 – a Hindu – in front of a 7 train in Sunnyside on Thursday night, officials said.
She allegedly said she singled him out because of his religion.
“She is accused of committing a subway commuter’s worst nightmare – suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train, shoved from behind with no chance to defend himself,” said Queens DA Richard Brown.
“She told police that she pushed a Muslim off the train tracks. She said, ‘I’ve hated Hindus and Muslims since 2001, since they put down the Twin Towers. I have been beating them up since.’ ”
There were no Hindus involved in the 9/11 attacks.
Menendez faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty.
She looked wild as she was escorted from the 112th Precinct station house.
She wailed incoherently, contorted her face into what looked like a fiendish grin, and struggled as officers forced her into an unmarked car.
She appeared equally unhinged later during her arraignment hearing in Queens Criminal Court. Menendez was laughing so hard that she was visibly shaking as Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaszuba read the charges against her.
“You’re going to have to have your client stop laughing,” Judge Gia Morris said, scolding Menendez’s lawyer. Despite this admonishment, Menendez laughed several more times at the hearing. She’ll undergo a psychiatric test today.
Menendez was nabbed after a Brooklyn tipster had called in after recognizing her on the street from surveillance video circulated by the NYPD, sources said.
Officers from the 71st Precinct busted her in Crown Heights after spotting her wearing the same jacket seen in a surveillance video recorded near the crime scene.
Menendez was picked up at about 5 a.m. on Empire Boulevard and Bedford Avenue, the sources said. She continued mumbling in coherently as investigators questioned her – and at one point asked where the R train was, the sources added.
She was interrogated yesterday at the same Forest Hills, Queens, station house. She initially denied being at the subway station at the time of the fatal push, telling cops she was smoking pot with a pal. She later admitted committing the attack, telling cops “I’ll just plead guilty,” a prosecutor said at the arraignment hearing.
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