Suspect in Subway Killing Had Attacked Twice Before
Erika Menendez spent years in and out of mental facilities: insiders
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 31, 2012 6:33 AM CST
Updated Dec 31, 2012 7:21 AM CST
A composite sketch showing the woman believed to have pushed a man to his death in front of a subway train on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Police arrested Erika Menendez on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/New York City Police Department)

(Newser) – The woman suspected of fatally pushing Sunando Sen to his death on the New York subway had attacked before, the New York Times finds in a look at her history. Police say Erika Menendez, who has been undergoing mental health treatment in various forms for years, has been arrested three times: twice for violence and once for drug possession. "I was covered with blood," says the retired firefighter she reportedly attacked while he was emptying his trash. "She was screaming the whole time ... I think I would have been dead if she had a weapon."

That attack came months after she hit and scratched another man. The Times notes that Menendez's history puts mental health services in the spotlight: Treatment comes through a range of loosely-connected institutions, from hospitals to shelters to support groups. Thousands of patients with violent records are let go from facilities with minimal oversight, says an advocate. "No one monitors if they are taking their medication," he tells the Times, "or follows up to see if they are a danger to themselves or others."

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Showing 3 of 45 comments
Jan 1, 2013 2:39 PM CST
Notwithstanding some - most of the comments bellow (and I expect as above so bellow)some of you are two paychecks from her place under the bridge - your superiority complex is funded by hot air pumped into the US dollar ,Only way I can come up with to summeries it - have a heart !!!
Dec 31, 2012 9:29 PM CST
Anyone without a leg cast, white cane, or wheel chair is deemed "fit" in this country. A GREAT MANY disabilities are invisible: diabetes, heart disease, depression, cirrhosis, schizophrenia, deafness, HIV, mood disorders from mild to severe, early-stage cancer, lupus, etc., etc., etc. Most of these invisible illnesses are treatable with current medical protocols. Until we as a society agree to acknowledge and treat these conditions, we will (a) condemn the sufferers to a hellish life and an early death, and (b) subject the public to inadvertent threats from out-of-control behaviors and expenses of end-stage care for those whose illnesses have rendered them indigent. We don't all live forever. We don't all die with our boots on. Most of us work hard, contribute to our society, and become infirm with age or illness. It's reality!! We must start providing medical care when it's first needed, or accept the consequences of ignoring psychosis and the unnecesarily premature decline of old age.
Dec 31, 2012 2:47 PM CST
See, I told you - confiscate all the guns !!! Many of us ,like this woman ,need to be taken to different enviroment ,in a countryside ,where life still resembles to a point ,a place fit for human beings where it is possinble to be nurtured by . the harmonies vibrations of nature including people who are awake to their emotions.