The lawyer for New York City subway pusher Naeem Davis
suggested his client might have been justified on Dec. 3 when he shoved 58-year-old Ki-Suck Han away, causing him to fall onto the tracks and be killed by an oncoming train.
“If he pushed to get him away from him, it may have been justified,” defense attorney Stephen Pokart said on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, it appears that the push was too hard and he fell off the platform.”
Pokart cited eyewitness accounts that suggest Han was intoxicated. He also claimed that Davis, 30, was attempting to get away from Han because the older man was harassing him.
Asked why his client did nothing to help Han off the tracks as the train approached, Pokart said Davis might have been too “stunned” to do anything.
Pokart’s defense resembles an argument put forth by Davis himself last week. After being arraigned and charged with second-degree murder, he told reporters, “He attacked me first. He grabbed me.”
That claim is partially supported by eyewitness Leigh Weingus.
“The victim kept saying ‘Hey! Hey!' at the suspect, getting closer and closer to him,” Weingus told the New York Times
. “At first Davis appeared calm, saying 'I don't know you, you don't know me, get out of my face.’”
Shortly after learning of her husband’s death, Han's wife told reporters that she and her husband had a fight in the morning before his death. She said he was likely intoxicated. Police reportedly found a bottle of liquor in Han's pocket.
Davis, who appeared to have been panhandling on the subway platform, fled the scene after shoving Han onto the tracks. Despite an attempt to change his appearance by shaving his head, the 30-year-old drifter was apprehended by police the following day after being spotted by a transit cop in Midtown Manhattan.
Davis is currently being held without bail.
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