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Woman Survives After Being Pushed In Front of R Train

From her hospital bed at Bellevue, a bruised Ute Linhart recounted her harrowing ordeal Wednesday night, when a drunk subway commuter pushed her into an oncoming "R" train at the Fifth Avenue station, at 28th Street.

Linhart, who spoke to PIX 11 News Friday, said she was trying to get to Times Square when she was approached by the drunken nutcase.

"I was at the far end of the platform. I saw the lights of the train coming in. This guy kind of crept up to me from my left," Linhart told PIX 11 News. "He was staring at me. It was a crazy stare. I thought, 'What does this guy want?'

"All of a sudden, the train was arriving and he pushed me. My left side got hit. I then felt someone grabbing my arm and pulling me back and I fell to the platform."

Linhart credits the unidentified hero for saving her life.

"I would very much like to find out who this person is; otherwise, I wouldn't be sitting here today," she said.

The 39-year old Linhart, who is a native of Stuttgart, Germany and works in creative merchandising, had just left work when she was pushed. Although the Hells Kitchen resident survived the attack, she suffered a broken arm, several fractured ribs, a punctured lung and bruising under her right eye and on the chin.

She knows she's lucky compared to another young woman who was pushed in front of a train at the same subway station back in 1999. Kendra Webdale was killed, when a schizophrenic man shoved her onto the tracks.

"I remember that story," Linhart told PIX 11 News. "I was living here when it happened. Of course, everyone thinks it won't happen to them. I won't take the subway again for a long time."

Witnesses to Wednesday night's incident, which happened just before 8 pm, managed to detain suspect Jose Rojas, a 25 year old man from the Bronx. He is charged with attempted murder. He has no previous criminal record.

According to court papers, a drunken Rojas told police, "I don't know why I pushed her.". Rojas is being held in jail without bail. Today, Linhart said, "Obviously, he's just completely crazy."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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