Subway victim mourned in Chinatown

Updated: 2014-11-24 10:09

By NIU YUE in New York(China Daily USA)

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Subway victim mourned in Chinatown

New York Police Department Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox (foreground center) stands with other transit officers in tribute to WaiKuen Kwok, who was fatally pushed in front of a subway train on Nov 16, as his coffin is carried out of a Chinatown funeral parlor on Sunday. Fox is flanked by Det. Sue Too, Asian community liaison for the New Immigrant Outreach Unit of the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, and Vincent Coogan,Transit Bureau assistant chief. Lu Huiquan / For China Daily

More than 80 people turn out for three-hour service in Chinatown

Family and friends of Wai Kuen Kwok, who was shoved off a subway platform and killed by a passing train on Nov 16, remembered the victim Sunday at his funeral in Chinatown.

Around 80 people attended the service at the Wah Wing Sang Funeral Home, which lasted more than three hours. Kwok's wife, Yow Ho Lee,and their two sons, Gary and Billy Kwok, did not comment to reporters. The family requested privacy.

The elder Kwok, 61,a Chinese immigrant, and his wife were headed to Chinatown for breakfast to celebrate Lee's birthday when Kwok was suddenly shoved off theplatform and run over by a passing Dtrain at the 167th Street station in the Bronx.

Kevin Darden, 34, was charged with second-degree murder in Kwok's death and is expected back in court Monday. Darden was recorded on surveillance video calmly smoking a cigarette a few blocks away after the incident. He also had later boarded a bus in the area.

Police said there was no indication of an altercation between the victim and Darden before the fatal incident. Darden, who is said to be homeless, was arrested on Nov 18 evening near his mother's house in the Bronx, and is being held without bail.

A report from the New York Postsaid that Darden has been arrested at least 30 times. He is also suspected of shoving down another person of Asian descent at the West Fourth Street subway station on Nov 6. Police did not say whether Darden was motivated by racial bias.

On Sunday, Lee covered her head with a kerchief and followed closely behind her elder son, Gary, as they left the funeral parlor and boarded a van to Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, for her husband's burial.

NYPD Transit Police Chief Joseph Fox attended the funeral with several other police officers. He did not speak to reporters about the investigation.

At least three other cases in which a person was pushed into the path of an oncoming train have been reported in the past two years. All of the victims were of Asian descent.

Korean-born Ki-Suk Han was killed after he was allegedly shoved onto the tracks by a homeless man and fatally struck by a Q train on Dec 3, 2012, at the 49th Street station in Manhattan.

On Dec 27, 2012, Sunando Sen, an Indian immigrant, was pushed in front of a No 7 train and killed in Sunnyside, Queens. Erika Menendez was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in the case.

In November 2013, Shou Kuan Lin, then 72, from China was pushedonto tracks and almost killed on Nov 22, 2013, in Harlem. Bystanders pulled him to safety before an A train arrived, buthe suffered a fractured skull and is on life support.Rudralall Baldeo, 57, at the time and homeless, was charged with attempted murder in the crime.

In response to public concerns about subway safety, theMTA is trying to develop a system with sensors and other high-tech mechanisms to give train operators advance warnings when a person ends up on the tracks.

MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast told CBS News that the authority is "exploring ways" to prevent such incidents. Prendergast said that6 million people ride the subway in New York daily, and it is "amazing how low" the crime rate is.

Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to this story.