The family of the man shoved into the subway tracks, where he was fatally struck by a southbound N train on Monday, appeared at a press conference yesterday. Ki-Suck Han's 20-year-old daughter Ashley, a student at Hunter College, said, "My dad was always someone who wanted the American dream, he really enforced my education, and he was always there for me. And it’s really devastating that he’s gone and I’m still in disbelief."
The police charged Naeem Davis, 30, with two counts of second-degree murder (intentional; depraved indifference). Witnesses say that Han, 58, and Davis were arguing on the southbound platform at the 49th Street subway station in Manhattan.
Davis, who is homeless, allegedly admitted to shoving Han, but claimed Han wouldn't stop bothering him, "He wouldn’t leave me alone, so I pushed him. I saw him get hit by the train." Han may have also been intoxicated—authorities found vodka on him. Here's a video of Han and Davis in a confrontation before the deadly push:
Commenting about the controversial photograph published on the Post's cover showing Han in the track, with the subway approaching, the Hans' pastor Rev. Won Tae Cho said, "After they saw this photo, they couldn’t sleep. They stayed at my home. It is difficult to see them. It was traumatic."
Han left his Elmhurst, Queens home to renew his Korean passport in Manhattan. He had previously worked in a dry-cleaning or laundromat, but was recently unemployed. His wife, Serim, is disabled and said she and her husband had been arguing before he left and she was upset their last words were angry. She added that she was thankful for the outpouring of support from the community, but wanted privacy. Cho said, "Before this tragedy, the family was struggling. They came to me for help. I helped with living expenses and rice and other food. They live in very poor conditions."
The Post reports that Serim Han had filed for bankruptcy ($100,000 in debt). City Comptroller John Liu, who was also at the press conference, said, "Mrs. Han became disabled a few years ago, so she has not been able to work for the last few years. The family lived a pretty simple life pursuing the American dream. Mr. Han was a hardworking immigrant and a New Yorker in every respect of the definition."
The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, insisted that he wouldn't have been able to help Han get out of the tracks. From the photograph, it doesn't seem like other witnesses tried (some said that Han's and Davis's argument frightened them and they moved away) to physically help Han, though Abbasi and others said they were trying to signal to the train's motorman to stop. The grieving daughter said, "The thought of someone helping him up in a matter of seconds would have been great. But what’s done is done."
Ashley Han added, "I just really wish I had one last chance to tell my dad how much I love him... I’m sorry for all my years of teenage angst. I promise to fulfill my role as your daughter.”