Suspect arrested in random subway assault on New York mother

The mad man who allegedly pushed a married mother onto the subway tracks in lower Manhattan in a harrowing, unprovoked attack was arrested Thursday, police said.

Samuel Junker, 41, was charged with assault in connection with the indiscriminate attack on Wan.

The mother-of-one, who was heading home after hours at a nearby foot massage parlor around 11pm, recalled being about a meter from the edge of platform 1/2/3 at Chambers Street station when she suddenly felt a sensation the cold felt “great power.”

“It was really awful because I didn’t have any advance warning at the time,” Xu said Wednesday from her home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn — where she was lying with a broken leg.

“He suddenly pushed me to the ground from behind with all his strength,” she recalls.

“I was afraid to take the train because that happened,” Xu said.

“I don’t know how I’m ever going to take the train in the future.”

Police said Junker – a complete stranger wearing a dirty red sweatshirt – allegedly pushed them onto the pavement without saying a word.

Samuel Junker
Samuel Junker, 41, has been charged with assault in connection with the horrific attack on Wan

Xu, unable to get up, began desperately to make sure the train wasn’t coming towards her.

“I was afraid of the train arriving,” she recalls.

“I did my best to get out.”

As her attacker fled, other straphangers rushed to her aid and dragged her back onto the platform, police sources said.

“There were many people next to me and they pulled me out,” Xu said, adding that she had to “endure the pain” when she was lifted off the tracks.

Wan Xu
Xu was walking home around 11pm after finishing work at a nearby foot massage parlor and recalled being about a meter from the edge of Platform 1/2/3 at Chambers Street Station when she suddenly saw a felt “great power”.
Brigitte Stelzer

She was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, where doctors confirmed a broken leg, Xu said.

“They scanned my leg at the hospital. The doctor told me it was a fracture. I’m on painkillers now. I can’t lift the leg,” she said, her member bandaged and immobilized.

Xu, who said she doesn’t have health insurance, added that doctors warned her that surgery would be needed to properly rebuild the bone.

She said she never saw the creep who pushed her.

White Plains resident Junker had no previous arrests in the Big Apple, police said.

The NYPD released surveillance footage of the suspect — taken in a red shirt — on Wednesday night in hopes of identifying him.

“I think this person must be crazy,” Xu said.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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