NYC Subway Attacker Arrested After Man Fatally Struck by Train During Fight Over Dropped Phone

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
October 19, 2022New Yorkshare
NYC Subway Attacker Arrested After Man Fatally Struck by Train During Fight Over Dropped Phone
NYPD investigate an incident at a subway station in New York on April 12, 2022. (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

A New York City man was arrested on Tuesday after being accused of getting into a fight over a cellphone, resulting in a man being fatally struck by an oncoming train at a subway station in Queens, authorities say.

The suspect, Carlos Garcia, 50, has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the death of Queens resident Heriberto Quintana, 48, New York Police Department (NYPD) officials announced.

The two men reportedly got into an argument after Quintana accidentally knocked Garcia’s phone out of his hand onto the track shortly before 5 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station in Queens.

Garcia urged Quintana to go down the tracks and retrieve his phone, but he refused. The two strangers then got into a scuffle and Quintana “fell” on the tracks as a train was entering the station, police said.

The NYPD was not clear whether Garcia intentionally pushed the victim onto the tracks or if Quintana fell accidentally during the course of the fight.

A surveillance camera on the platform captured the incident, but the station was so packed at the height of rush hour that it was difficult to determine exactly what happened, WPIX reported, citing police.

The incident caused service delays that impacted the E/F/M/R lines in the Queens neighborhood station for several hours as emergency personnel responded to the victim struck by a train, NYPD Transit announced on Twitter.

Quintana is the ninth person to be killed in the New York City subway system so far this year.

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been created in support of Quintana’s family, who was a husband and a father of three.

NTD Photo
Heriberto Quintana of Queens, New York City. (Courtesy of GoFundMe)

“The conflict started by my dad accidentally pushing the guy, bumped him. And I guess the guy dropped his phone on the train tracks. And the guy got mad, and that’s when the conflict started—the fight. It’s crazy, over a damn cell phone,” Demsi, one of Quintana’s three sons, told WPIX.

Crime Rising on NYC Subways

The incident comes as New York has seen a rise in violent crime over the past year that has included deadly attacks on subway riders.

On Oct. 15, NYPD asked the public to help identify a suspect who shoved a subway rider in front of an oncoming train. The victim, a 26-year-old man, was helped back to the platform by witnesses at the scene but sustained injuries to his legs.

“At approx. 11:50 a.m., inside the E 149 St & Southern Blvd subway station, the suspect, unprovoked, pushed a 26-year-old male onto the train tracks as the “6” train was arriving. Any info?” the NYPD said on Twitter.

Surveillance video footage showed the bearded suspect, wearing a black ski jacket and brightly patterned pants, rushing toward the victim from behind. The attack itself took place off-camera.

In mid-February, 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go was intentionally pushed to her death in front of an oncoming Times Square subway train. The suspect was identified as 61-year-old Martial Simon and was charged with second-degree murder in connection with her death.

In another incident that happened in January, a 23-year-old man was critically injured when he was struck by a train in a Brooklyn subway station as he bent over to pick up his backpack.

Reuters contributed to this report.