The Asian-American man who claimed to be God

Simon Martial, the man who pushed the Asian woman to death in front of the ship, has a history of mental illness and claims to be God when asked for a motive.

Martial, 61, shoved Asian woman Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, while she was waiting for a train at Times Square station in New York City on January 15. Go fell onto the tracks and was run over by a train.

Police said it was an unprovoked attack and had no racial motive. Martial, a homeless black man, fled the scene but surrendered less than an hour later.

Suspect Simon Martial smiled and stuck out his tongue when he was arrested by police on January 15.  Photo: NY Post.

Suspect Simon Martial smiled and stuck out his tongue when he was arrested by police on January 15. Photo: NY Post.

Police charged Martial with murder. When reporters asked about the motive, he said that the victim “stole my coat”, while calling himself God. “Yes, because I am God. I did it. I am God, I can do it,” he said.

Martial, who has a history of mental illness, has been arrested 10 times since 1998. He served a sentence in 2018 for attempting to rob a taxi and was released last year. The man is currently at Bellevue Hospital, which handles psychiatric assessments of suspects in police custody.

Go graduated from the University of California and holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Over the past 10 years, she volunteered to support the homeless, but was eventually killed by a homeless person.

The condition and safety of the subway has become a worry for many New Yorkers during the pandemic. Police statistics show that serious crimes on the subway have decreased over the past two years, but it is difficult to gauge because the number of people taking the train has also decreased.

Several recent attacks have attracted public attention and are alarming. Last February, four stabbings, two of which were fatal, occurred within hours on a subway line. In May, several commuters were slashed and assaulted on a train in lower Manhattan. Four months later, three transportation workers were assaulted in different attacks on the same day.

Victim Michelle Alyssa Go.  Photo: AP.

Victim Michelle Alyssa Go. Photo: AP.

Huyen Le (Follow AP, CNN)

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