Fatal Subway Shover Says He 'Didn't Mean to Push That Hard'
RIKERS ISLAND — The man who confessed to fatally pushing a straphanger onto the tracks of a Midtown subway station earlier this week said he was high on pot during the horrific incident and never meant for victim Ki-Suck Han to die.
Naeem Davis, 31, an immigrant from Sierra Leone, said during an interview at Rikers Island Friday morning that he had no intention of killing Han, a 58-year-old Queens dad who was crushed by a Q train at the 49th Street and Seventh Avenue station Monday.
"I didn't mean to push him that hard," said Davis, who wore a bright orange jumpsuit and had a scraggly black goatee, "I just wanted him to get away from me.
"God was testing me. I failed that test."
Davis, who said he is bipolar but is not taking medication, claimed he began fighting with the victim shortly before 12:30 p.m., when Han grabbed him just as he was getting ready to walk through the turnstile.
"I'm going to kill you," Han shouted, according to Davis.
Davis, who was headed to 28th Street to pick up T-shirts and other items to sell in Midtown, said he yelled back, "I don't know you. Get away from me" and feared that Han was "under the influence of something."
The suspect, who claimed he was left homeless after Hurricane Sandy destroyed his house in the Rockaways, then said that Han approached him two more times — once after both men passed through the turnstile and then again on the platform.
The second and third times Han approached Davis, the vendor, who said he was high on pot at the time, told himself: "Naeem, he's coming again, he's coming again."
The final time Han approached him, he lashed out, shoving him away. Han fell onto his backside on the platform and then "rolled" onto the tracks, Davis said.
Davis, who is being held without bail on a murder charge, said he was "in shock," never heard the conductor announce that a train was coming into the station and did not have time to help Han up.
"It happened so fast," he said. "I didn't have time to react."
The Q train pulled into the station, hitting Han so hard that Davis "heard his bones crack," he said.
Han was pronounced dead at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital and left behind a wife and 20-year-old daughter.
After Han was struck by the train, Davis ran from the station, but turned himself in the next day once he knew police were searching for him.
Davis said he is a devout Muslim who usually visits a mosque daily. He said he regretted Han's death.
"From the depths of my heart, I didn't mean to kill him," he said. "I've been praying almost every hour."
Davis said he would like to apologize to his victim's wife.
"I just want to see her face to face and say I'm sorry," he said.
Davis is due in court Dec. 11.