Queens dad pushed to his death by madman in Times Square subway station
By LARRY CELONA
A Queens dad trying to protect fellow straphangers from a deranged man on a Times Square subway platform was hurled onto the tracks by the lunatic and fatally crushed by a train yesterday, cops and witnesses said.
Ki Suk Han, 58, desperately tried to scramble back to the platform as onlookers screamed, shouted and frantically waved their hands and bags in a bid to get the downtown Q train to stop at around 12:30 p.m.
Post freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi — who had been waiting on the platform of the 49th Street station — ran toward the train, repeatedly firing off his flash to warn the operator.
“I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash,” said Abbasi, whose camera captured chilling shots of Suk’s tragic fight for his life.
The train slowed, but a dazed and bruised Han still wound up hopelessly caught between it and the platform as it came to a halt.
A shaken Abbasi said the train “crushed him like a rag doll.”
Dr. Laura Kaplan, a second-year resident at Beth Israel Medical Center who was also on the platform, sprang into action, taking off her coat, grabbing her stethoscope and rushing over to help the dying man.
“People were shouting and yelling when it happened, but then people ran the other way,” said Kaplan, 27.
“I heard what I thought were heart sounds,” she said, but Han never took a breath.
“There was blood coming out his mouth. We couldn’t do CPR. He wasn’t in the right position. and there was just no way to get him out of there.”
Han, who lived with his wife and college-age daughter in Elmhurst, was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
His attacker was last seen running out of the station’s 47th Street exit — at the north end of Times Square — heading northbound on Seventh Avenue. Cops last night were scouring surveillance video for signs of him.
The killer was described by police as black, 30 to 40 years old, about 5-foot-9, with short dreadlocks. He was wearing a white T-shirt, dark jacket, filthy jeans, black sneakers with a white stripe and a black beanie cap.
The horrific drama unfolded after Han approached the crazed man — who police sources described as a panhandler and witnesses said had been harassing and cursing at straphangers — on the southbound platform and tried to calm him down.
As other riders congregated toward one end of the platform, Han and the man were about 100 feet away from them.
“He went up and tried to calm him down, saying, ‘You’re scaring people,’ ” a law-enforcement source said.
“The emotionally disturbed guy just started screaming and cursing, saying, ‘You don’t know me! You don’t know who I am!’ ”
As the train’s arrival was announced over the loudspeaker, the attacker “just grabbed [Han] and launched him — just threw him — straight onto the tracks,” a witness said.
The killer then grabbed a paper coffee cup he used to collect change — which he’d put down before the assault — and fled.
Abbasi recalled, “Out of the periphery of my eye, I just saw a body flying, flying through the air.
“People started waving their hands, anything they could find. They were shouting to the man in the tracks, “Get out! Get out of there!’ ”
Han barely missed the third rail, cops said, and looked stunned as he sat up in the track bed as the train approached before scrambling to his feet.
At one point, Han stood in the tracks and looked directly at the oncoming train lights.
“The most painful part was I could see him getting closer to the edge. He was getting so close,” Abbasi said. “And people were running toward him and the train.
“As I was running toward the train, the man I believe pushed him ran the other way, and I heard him say, ‘Goddamn motherf--ker.’
“I didn’t think about [the perp] until after. In that moment, I just wanted to warn the train — to try and save a life.”
One witness said Han was dragged 10 to 15 feet.
The train’s operator was treated for shock and brought out of the station in a wheelchair, wearing an oxygen mask.
“He’s traumatized,” a transit source said.
Abbasi said the driver saw his camera flashing but told him he couldn’t stop the train fast enough.
Han’s devastated wife said she and her husband had quarreled before he left the house at around 11 a.m. and headed for Manhattan.
She told cops he’d been drinking, and one witness claimed he was the aggressor on the platform, law-enforcement sources said, adding that authorities found a bottle of vodka on Han afterward.
“We had a fight,” the widow said through tears. “I kept calling him and calling him to see where he was, but he didn’t answer.”