Man caught attempting to shove New York subway, released despite earlier attacks

A “ticking time bomb” accused of assaulting an elderly man and two police officers on Monday and then releasing them without bail was arrested again on Friday when he tried to push a Brooklyn straphanger onto the subway tracks — what critics dubbed another case of junk justice, according to Big Apple.

The 24-year-old victim was walking northbound on the N-Bahn platform at Sunset Park’s 59th Street station on Friday morning when Ricky Vidal, 23, allegedly pushed him from behind toward the tracks, police sources said.

According to a criminal complaint, Vidal was arrested on Monday and charged with attacking a 73-year-old with the man’s stick while he was waiting for a bus in South Ozone Park.

When police arrived, he allegedly punched one in the face, causing him a black eye, and then hit another in the head, according to the complaint, after which both officers were taken to hospital.

Vidal has faced a range of charges including assault for injuring someone over the age of 65 and criminal possession of a weapon, records show. Still, he was released without bail at 10 p.m. Tuesday by Judge Anthony Battisti, a representative of former Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Queens prosecutors said they asked for $5,000 bail.

59 Street Station
The 24-year-old man was walking onto the platform when Ricky Vidal allegedly pushed him towards the tracks.
Paul Martinka

“The guy is literally a ticking time bomb. His behavior continues to spiral out of control. He is clearly an untreated mentally ill individual in the transit system. Letting him back on the streets puts New Yorkers and even police officers at risk,” a law enforcement source told The Post.

The source added, “It’s like these judges just don’t care.”

A spokesman for the court system did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Subway Rails
The victim was pushed near the tracks at the 59 Street Station in Sunset Park on Friday.
Stephen Jeremiah

When Vidal allegedly attacked another on Friday, the man was saved from danger when another tube driver came to his rescue.

The Good Samaritan, who only wanted to be identified as Jose, said he heard a commotion on the platform and rushed to help. He said he was on the subway on April 12 and his train pulled into the 36th Street station shortly after Frank James was accused of shooting passengers across the platform on a packed N train.

“I was determined that if something like this happened in front of me, I wouldn’t stand by and sit idly by with my phone and record out, so I responded,” Jose said.

Jose, an Army combat veteran, said he warned Vidal to stop pushing the commuter and when he didn’t, put him in a chokehold. He said the attacker briefly passed out and released his grip but held Vidal until police arrived.

“He got aggressive with them. He almost kicked one of them onto the tracks,” he said.

He said the victim seemed shaken and very grateful.

The victim’s roommate told the Post that the man was on his way home to his family in Rhode Island on Friday.

“Some guy just randomly tried to kill him,” the roommate said.

Vidal, who was charged with reckless endangerment and was at an unidentified hospital on Saturday, court officials said.

He has a history of violent behavior and became aggressive towards police officers who tried to remove him from a Bronx subway train on April 5, sources said.

According to sources, there have been six calls to the police before because Vidal was emotionally disturbed. Man caught attempting to shove New York subway, released despite earlier attacks


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