A deranged man who pushed a woman in front of a No. 5 train as it rolled into the Union Square subway station was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday.
Aditya Vemulapati, 24, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder last month, was also ordered to serve five years’ post-release supervision when he’s released from prison.
Video evidence showed how Vemulapati waited for a northbound train to approach the station on Nov. 19, 2020, before violently shoving Liliana Sagbaicela to the tracks. The footage included images of a horrified eyewitness covering his eyes and recoiling in horror.
“Today’s sentence makes clear that we will hold accountable those who cause harm in our subway system,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a statement. “We will remain focused on those who harm straphangers just trying to commute to home or to work.”
Sagbaicela miraculously survived the vicious push, landing in a space between the trains’ wheels and suffering no broken bones, though she needed eight stitches to her head.
The operator of the rush-hour train stopped before the train had fully entered the station, with four cars still in the tunnel outside.
She is one of several straphangers who’ve been targeted in random subway shoving attacks.
Last month, 30-year-old Theodore Ellis allegedly grabbed and hurled a woman onto subway tracks in the Bronx. The victim suffered a broken collarbone, dislocated shoulder and bruise to her head.
“I didn’t mean to push her onto the tracks. I was drinking. That’s me in the video,” Ellis allegedly admitted to cops about pushing the 52-year-old victim at the Jackson Ave.-Westchester Ave. station.
The NYPD told the Daily News Ellis and the victim had previously argued, but that the suspect couldn’t remember what made him angry “and didn’t realize his own strength when he pushed her.”
Michelle Go, 40, of Manhattan, was killed in January when she was shoved in front of an R train as it approached a 42nd Street station platform in Manhattan. The mentally ill homeless man who confessed to the heinous push was determined to be unfit to stand trial.