• bballi bballi Paradise

    The picture has to be photo shopped right? How can there be no one else on the edge of the platform? How could no one help him?

  • Jashin Densetsu

    it’s new york bro. it’s every man for himself bro.

  • broona

    My prayers go out to his family. What a tragedy.

  • http://globalasianculture.com Liz

    conflicting reports as to why he was there.

    1. ourchinatown.org reports he was trying to ward off said-pusher from harassing people on the subway platform.
    2. HuffPo (above) says he was drunk and was caught in a brawl.

    i’d like to know what really happened.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    if people were able to take pics, there’s gotta be video of this.

  • dogbertt

    Gothamist has an 8-sec. video of him arguing with his murderer one on one on the platform. Supposedly the police have identified a suspect.

  • Baek-du boy

    Probably against instinct, but if you can’t get on the platform best to lie down as flat as you can on the middle of the tracks.

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    “It’s one of those great tragedies, it’s a blot on all of us,” Mayor Bloomberg said today. “And if you could do anything to stop it, you would. But the good news is it happens phenomenally rarely.”

    Maybe installing some of those nifty suicide doors we have in Seoul. I tell ya I feel much safer.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/shocking Jakgani

    Bet you to it Robert!

    I already posted the story here –
    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2012/12/04/dong-a-ilbo-on-australian-racism/#comments (#40) this morning

    The journalist who took the pics claims he wasn’t strong enough to pull the man back up off the tracks – so he claims the reason why he was taking rapid pics with his camera was so that the camera flash would alert the train driver to stop.

    meanwhile everyone else just stood around and watched the Korean get splattered.

    nobody believes the reporters story that he was trying to use his cameras flash as a warning to the train to stop.

    neither do I…

  • jkitchstk

    # 4,
    “i’d like to know what really happened.”

    Me too, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! Given his non specific visa or residency situation and the possibility that he initiated it with the “pusher,” contemplating whether he could’ve been in Seoul from 2002-2004 head boppin along to one of Psy’s rappin Anti/Kill American concerts.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/shocking Jakgani

    Sources said Han had gotten into an argument with his wife earlier that morning and was intoxicated.

    Sources said Han may have initiated the debate with the man who allegedly pushed him off the platform.

    “Leave me the f— alone!” the man, who was wearing headphones and drinking a Starbucks coffee, said on a video released by the NYPD.

    The fight reached a boiling point and the suspect pushed Han onto the tracks, authorities said.

    Intoxicated in the morning?
    Argues with wife?
    Argues with man at subway?
    Other man tells Korean to leave him alone?
    Nobody bothers to help him for some reason……..

    this is what I was talking about on the other thread….

    behave badly – and see what happens to you??

  • Jashin Densetsu


    i saw that short clip. it doesn’t show much. there’s probably more footage either from the guy that shot that clip or from someone else.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936


    I don’t know what you have gone through or what your issues are, but it is pretty sad and pathetic that you have to take it out on this poor man who is too dead to defend himself.

  • Maximus2008

    “it’s new york bro. it’s every man for himself bro”

    No, “bro”. That would be Korea, “bro”.

  • Arghaeri

    Probably against instinct, but if you can’t get on the platform best to lie down as flat as you can on the middle of the tracks.

    Not off to the side under the platform?

  • silver surfer

    Just unbelievable that no one helped him. I actually once saw a man walking around on the tracks – this was before the suicide doors were installed – in Seoul and me and another guy gave him a hand up. 2 minutes later he was back down there, looking for his wallet. Nuts or drunk or both.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    don’t matter whether k man started argument or was drunk. doesn’t excuse the other man’s behavior but it’s good to see so many yahoos trying. this idea that the k man may have brought it on himself may be true in a very sad way. in this country, you mess with somebody, you may end up dead. it’s not good policy to pick fights with strangers if you value your life. that’s a sad comment about this country.

  • hardyandtiny

    stand in the middle between the two sides of the tracks under the support wall, or at least run away from the train.

  • hardyandtiny

    “don’t matter whether k man started argument or was drunk. ”

    I disagree, having an argument with a complete stranger in the subway while drunk is dumb.

  • hardyandtiny

    “And the guy was on the tracks for over a minute. ”

    Why was he on the tracks for over a minute?

  • silver surfer

    Feel sorry for the poor train driver as well.

    All those people who ran away and did nothing for over a minute must be feeling pretty shitty about themselves.

  • cm

    Does anybody believe the eyewitness who said Mr Han instigated the conflict with the crazy?

    Mr. Han was on his way to renew his Korean passport after a fight with his wife in the morning. His intoxication probably lead to the unwise decision to try to calm down the crazy who was muttering to himself, acting crazy, and scaring people on the tracks. Mr Han was overheard saying to the man, “calm down, you are scaring people”.

    The crazy got increasingly crazier and pushed Mr Han onto the tracks. Mr. Han barely missed hitting one of the tracks, too hurt and dazed to be able to climb back onto the platform. He probably desperately needed somebody to just come over and lend a hand.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/shocking Jakgani

    I have been down on the tracks before – and a train was coming,
    there is actually space – about 1 & 1/2 meter high to go in under the platform off the tracks.

    instead of hanging onto the platform waiting for someone to pull you up, just crouch down and go under the platform until the train has gone. There’s heaps of space down there.

    Lucky for me – someone pulled me up after laughing at me – just before the train came in.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/shocking Jakgani

    yep – same as NYC.

    By law in New York City every subway platform (on any subway system) has a “ledge” at each station platform. This is a “opening” UNDER the platform so that there is enough space for a person between the platform and the subway train. It is only a few feet, and you cannot really see it unless your on the tracks (since the top of the opening is the platform that reaches out to the subway cars.

    In effect, the track level is the bottom of this opening, the top is the platform (the underside of it), the one side would be the subway train when one is present, and the last side is the middle of the platform.

    If on the tracks and the train is entering the station – you are suppoed to crouch and go UNDER the platform.

    Don’t think about laying between the tracks because you will most likely be electrocuted.

  • Pingback: Suspect In Custody for Pushing Korean Man In Front of A New York City Subway | ROK Drop()

  • http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com Brian D

    #21 I don’t think they’re feeling shitty about themselves. They clearly don’t feel much of anything.

    But this is how we’ve chosen to live, where people debate whether the guy was justified in pushing a man in front of a subway car.

  • Bendrix


    You have it backwards. The Korean guy was telling the man to calm down, which is not the best thing to do in New York where there are a lot of crazies. So, he was actually doing what you condone: enforcing etiquette on those behaving badly. In America, you tough Aussie enforcers would probably get beaten or killed.

  • slim

    I’d say give drunken, angry ajossis a wide berth and the maundering, menacing homeless an even wider berth.

    And, again, Jakgani needs to shut up and go away forever if he can’t stay on his meds and resist the temptation to say stupid shit.

  • Kloud Red

    Robert…I’ve been following your blog for years and it’s sad to see how the comment sections have devolved into a cesspool of anti-korean douchebaggery from whiny expats. That is all.

  • cm

    #27, unfair to blame the Korean man.

    He was just trying to help the scared people on the platform. This is based on one of the eyewitnesses.

    The intoxication probably made him more braver then he should have been. And intoxication probably didn’t help him either to get back on the platform after he fell on the track.

  • slim


    “If this thing had happened again with the same circumstances, whether I had a camera or not and I was running toward it, there is no way I could have rescued Mr. Han,” Abbasi said. “What really surprises me,” he added, “is the people who were maybe 100 or 150 feet away from Mr. Han — they did not reach out to help him.”

    The platform where the incident occurred is several hundred feet long. Abbasi said he was at one end of it, farther from Han than people waiting closer to the middle or the opposite end of the platform.

    “The people who were standing close to him [Han] on the 50th Street exit could have … they could have moved and grabbed him and pulled him out. Nobody made an effort,” Abbasi said.

  • slim

    I’m not blaming the Korean guy at all, and he surely didn’t deserve his fate. But accounts that he was “helping scared people” sound like quite a stretch in New York, where people tend to follow the guidelines I spelled out in 27. (I’m talking about the altercation, not its result.)

  • MrMao

    Ooh, look at me- I’m a photographer! I’m a doctor! I’m totally useless in a crisis, but I love my career!

    Now you’ve gone and ruined my Wednesday.

  • MrMao

    Actually, I had a friend who saw this happen in Seoul years ago. Said the guy was essentially cut in half by the train at the waist as he tried to climb up and was crushed between the train and the platform.

    And from that clip, I see a lucid black man telling a Korean man to leave him the XXX alone. If I had to say who was harassing whom, it would be the Korean man, but I have neither seen more footage nor read many eyewitness accounts.

  • MrMao

    – This quote is emblematic of the sad state of affairs in the world today:

    ‘I didn’t know what had happened. It could have been a terrorist attack, I just didn’t know what to do and I just stood there. Before the impact I saw some people running up the stairs to where they sell Metrocards, but they were running away from the scene.


    – It wasn’t a terrorist attack, you Fox-News-watching sheep. It was a human tragedy and you should have done something.

    I find this quote most believable: ‘One witness claimed Mr Han had been the aggressor and authorities reportedly found a bottle of vodka on his body afterward.’

    – That is an aggressive, drunk-at-11-am ajusshi pushing around a younger, non-Korean man. The refusal to leave in the face of overwhelming odds is clear-cut proof and I have seen it a thousand times. So convinced of their righteousness are they, that they will enter into situations wherein they cannot possibly win. If this had been in Korea, Mr Han would have had a million Koreans to back him up unconditionally, but this was not in Korea.

  • cm

    Eyewitnesses have already told the police, Mr. Han intervened when the pusher was harassing people on the waiting platform.


    Hindsight, he should not have intervened and should have just moved away. But alcohol probably made him braver then he should have been.

  • mitchel-murray

    Eyewitness report by Leigh Weingus, Assistant editor, of HuffPost TV

    I thought nothing of it when I saw a middle aged Asian man rush through the subway turnstile shortly after I had, shouting at a black man who was standing toward the middle of the platform.

    I finally looked up from my phone as the Asian man staggered toward me, and I smelled alcohol on his breath. “Hey!” he said loudly, and I looked on nervously as he teetered dangerously close to the edge of the platform, making his way toward the black man.

    “I don’t know you,” the black man said calmly. “Get out of my face.” As the Asian man continued to scream angry words that I can no longer recall, his back to the train tracks, the MTA employee’s words started racing through my head. You shouldn’t stand so close to the Subway platform, I thought over and over again as the argument escalated.

    “Man, I can f*** you up,” I heard, along with a thud and an announcement that the Q train was approaching the station. “Stop the train! There’s a man on the tracks!” I heard a woman yell. Terrified, I looked down and saw the Asian man lying face down on the tracks. He has a family! I thought as I too started shrieking, “Stop the train!”


  • Cloud

    As a former New Yorker, I like this kind of “only in New York” subway encounter: http://gawker.com/5965706/jay+z-rides-the-subway-adorably-explains-who-he-is-to-an-adorable-old-lady

  • cm


    There seems to be different versions of the eyewitness accounts. According to LA Times, it was the black man who was accosting people, not the Korean guy:


    So why the different accounts?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #34 MrMao: – That is an aggressive, drunk-at-11-am ajusshi pushing around a younger, non-Korean man. The refusal to leave in the face of overwhelming odds is clear-cut proof and I have seen it a thousand times. So convinced of their righteousness are they, that they will enter into situations wherein they cannot possibly win. If this had been in Korea, Mr Han would have had a million Koreans to back him up unconditionally, but this was not in Korea.

    My first full day in Korea was solar New Year’s Day. I went to a jimjilbang with a Korean friend whom I had only met once I got here. Going into the jimjilbang, I saw an old man who was passed out and his son, late 30’s, trying to put him on his back to bring the old man to street level. I figured the old man was overcome by the heat and needed medical attention. As I processed what was happening, I felt appalled that no one was helping the younger man dress and carry his father. Relying on trusty stereotypes, I thought some Asian must be a doctor in this crowded jimjilbang. No one helped.

    I’m a sizable guy, and both the father and son weighed about 150 lbs. I told my friend that I was going to go help him carry his father. My friend pulled on my arm and told me not to get involved. I couldn’t speak any Korean, didn’t know the customs, but was and am to this day sickened by what I saw. I said again, I’m going to go help him. My friend told me not to, but as I watched the younger man struggle some more trying to carry his father piggy back, I withdrew my friend’s arm from my elbow, made a motion to the younger man that I was strong, and hoisted his father fireman style on my shoulder. I took him up the flight of stairs to street level, and the son hailed a cab.

    Before, during, and after all the Koreans (and I don’t have to convince anyone else here that I was the only waegukin in the joint) went about their business like nothing ever happened.

  • jkitchstk

    No matter how much I would’ve wanted to, I doubt I would’ve tried to save the man(hand & arm lock style) when the train was barreling down the tracks toward me since my life would’ve been in danger. I’m no hero! It would’ve been more dangerous than a non-swimmer trying to save a drowning man(they sometimes pull/push you under). He could’ve tried pulling me down onto the tracks with him considering his drunken condition. However, if I had something like a rope or whatever I would’ve pulled him up and become a hero.

  • Q

    I really feel bad for the guy, especially that happened at Q line…

  • mitchel-murray

    #38 So why the different accounts?

    Who knows? I much prefer the heroic version of the brave older gentlemen trying break up a fight and paying for it with his life. But tragic stories are rarely so clear cut.

    We know that Han had a fight with his wife in the morning and that she had been trying to contact him. She was upset about the way they had finished the argument and he was obviously pretty upset as well, enough to start drinking heavily even though it was early morning. The paramedics even found a liquor bottle in Han’s jacket when they pulled his body from the tracks. So Han is upset, drunk and stumbling through the NY subway. And then there’s this Davis, a homeless guy with a screw loose.

    Was Davis hassling passengers? We have video and audio of Han and Davis, the homeless man. But the video just shows the two men without any other passengers around. In the audio Davis is heard telling Han to “leave me the fuck alone” and to go “wait for the R train.” But Han chose stood his ground for whatever reasons.

    There are some newspapers reporting that witnesses said Han was bothering passengers but I haven’t seen any identified eyewitnesses saying that. We do have Weingus’ report, a HuffPo journalist and an eyeball witness who claims to have seen the whole exchange and wrote down what she says she saw. Maybe she remembered it wrong, eyewitnesses do that all the all time. But Weingus story seems pretty plausible to me.

    Thing is though, even if her story is spot on it doesn’t change the fact that Han was basically murdered in cool blood by Davis, mentally deranged though he may be. It also doesn’t change the fact that the passengers could have and should have helped him but only cared enough to snap pictures and gasp. It’s a real tragedy and a preventable one. Shame on NYC.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Sounds like a perfect storm. Odd and rarely coinciding circumstances mixing for one singular and rare event. Still, they should arrest and prosecute the guy who pushed him into the tracks and to his death. You gotta send the right message. Pushing people into the tracks is wrong, regardless of the reason.

    Don’t know if he should be charged with murder or manslaughter. We’ll just have to let the courts decide on that.

  • αβγδε

    I’m not sure why I had a sick feeling that the victim would be Korean. The thought occurred to me before I found out the name of the person who died. I had no reason whatsoever to think it.

    And I have a sick feeling now that if someone pushed me onto train tracks, nobody would help me either. I’m not the type to start shouting for help. I’d be dead.

    Fuck you, New Yorkers.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Oh, and the guy who pushed him confessed already. 30 year old Naeem Davis.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I mean “… next of kin speak:”

  • jkitchstk

    # 42,
    “Thing is though, even if her story is spot on it doesn’t change the fact that Han was basically murdered in cool blood by Davis, mentally deranged though he may be.”

    It’s not “murdered in cold blood” if Davis is “mentally deranged” like you say. And I’ll go one further, since it doesn’t sound like the train was about to hit Han when he was “pushed” the intent of Davis may not have been to kill therefore it won’t be first degree murder as you try to make it out to be with “murdered in cold blood.” If Han wasn’t drunk would he have fallen onto the tracks after the “push?”

  • Jashin Densetsu

    hey it’s a dog eat dog world out there. dude was korean. he should’ve know that.

  • Jashin Densetsu


    actually it doesn’t matter that the train wasn’t about to enter the station when he was pushed bro. subway tracks have a third rail that will electrocute you if you touch it bro. if someone is trying to push you onto subway tracks you’re justified in defending yourself with deadly force.

  • cm

    #45, way ta go to put a face to the stereotypical obnoxious drunken ajoshi.

    This is sad:

    According to family pastor Reverend Woon Tae Chon, ‘The family could not sleep after they saw these pictures. They have been staying in my house and it has been very difficult, very difficult to see them.

  • Bendrix

    How sick are you embittered expats/Korea haters that you’re finding soft justifications for this or downplaying the perpetrator’s guilt? I went through a phase after living in Japan where I hated the country and the people but I eventually got over it, and I certainly didn’t troll Japan-related sites like you fuckheads. Get over yourselves. Your petty personal grievances don’t mean shit to anyone but you.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    they say he barely missed the third rail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2242963/Subway-death-Man-killed-pushed-New-York-train-Times-Square.html

    “Police said that after being thrown onto the tracks Mr Han had barely missed being electrocuted on the third rail and looked stunned as he sat up with the train bearing down on him.”

  • MrMao

    Yeah, video of a black buy begging a Korean guy to leave him alone. He is clearly guilty of murder.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    the korean guy is standing there with his hands in his pockets. unless he did something after the video clip to threaten the black guy, the black guy should be guilty of murder.

  • mitchel-murray

    # 48, 54

    Isn’t it murder if Davis intended to push him on to the tracks? What’s gonna happen if you push someone on a subway track? He’ll hit the 3rd rail and die or get hit my a train and die. Sounds like murder to me.

    Davis might be mentally deranged but does that automatically mean he gets the insanity defense? I’m not sure, but I’d get guess that would be a whole separate analysis. In NYC I think you can be pretty fucking crazy but not “insane” for legal reasons.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936


    Personally, I think Rob needs to clean house. Would would blame him? I thought some people here were thoughtless. Now I’m finding out that some are also heartless too.

  • http://www.expathell.com thankswww

    My only question is why did the guy allow himself to be hit by the train, when he could have just ducked under the ledge and lived another day? Did he not see the train approaching? If, as the police have reported, they found an entire empty bottle of vodka on the corpse, perhaps that explains it.

    Try to put yourself in the situation of the bystanders. There is a drunken man involved in an altercation. He’s wasted in the morning, so he’s probably homeless. He gets pushed down onto the tracks. He’s standing there looking like he’s going to get hit by the train. You have nothing to hold on to or brace yourself against to pull him up. Knowing that he’s drunk, possibly aggressive, and has full ability to pull YOU down onto the tracks with him, even if by accident, I’d be curious as to how many of you would actually take the risk, especially with a train rapidly approaching.

    The Seoul MTA still hasn’t put up suicide barriers at all stations in Seoul. The most recent suicide was just last month, at one of the stations without barriers on Line 4. Very easy to get down there, not very easy to get back up.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    i think it’s more likely that people didn’t help him because the black guy was hovering around there and people were scared that he might push or attack them if they got near him to help the guy.

  • Q

    thankswww (thans warau warau warau; thanks laugh laugh laugh),

    why did the guy allow himself to be hit by the train, when he could have just ducked under the ledge and lived another day? Did he not see the train approaching?

    Why don’t you try at a subway station if it is possible?

  • Jashin Densetsu

    he might’ve fell hard and hit his head and gotten dazed. if he was drunk he would’ve been even more disoriented. more video or CCTV would be helpful.

  • αβγδε

    I guess in a situation like so, you have to be VERY proactive about your health. If you need help and want help, then you need to yell out for help, show that you’re rational and can’t get out of a situation without an extra hand.

    Else, if you’re just standing around looking dazed and confused or drunk, or, on the contrary, make it appear as if you’re in control despite everything and you’re not yelling out for help, then I can start to see why no one helped him out.

    I’m not even speculating here about what happened. But just going over all conditions.

  • αβγδε

    Also, I’d full pardon the guy who shot that photo. This might be a clean case of the ‘bystander effect.’ The cameraman might have thought that the people closer to him would have done something, which would have left him free to document the situation in the way that he personally knew best.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Jashin Densetsu @ # 59,

    That might actually be a good point if he did in fact hover over the guy for some time afterwards.

  • commander

    The comments here are pathetic. Lots of haters.

    If Davis thought the Korean guy was hassling him, he had many other options than to push him onto the tracks in front of an approaching train… that act to me is clearly attempted murder. For all you jackoffs who think the Korean guy deserved to be murdered, no matter what the reason is, shame on you.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Perhaps… some of the commenters here think ajushis are something less than men. If so, then that would be sadder than their comments.

  • que337
  • que337
  • Boe Gillmander

    This tells us why Han was murdered, and the police have no doubt put the pieces together.
    1)”Han had been in a heated exchange with a man — who police described as emotionally disturbed and talking to himself.” 2) “The defendant never on
    ce offered any aid to the victim as the train approached the platform and in fact, this depraved defendant watched the train hit the victim,” 3)Davis has several prior arrests in New York and Pennsylvania on mostly minor charges including drug possession. 4)Han had his hands in his pocket – not a threat 5)Han was trying to tell Davis to leave people alone when he paid the ultimate price for getting involved. – Some have characterized Han as a hero who confronted the unruly Davis, who was mumbling – likely high on drugs – and harassing other subway passengers. 6)according to witness testimony, not a single person tried to help save his life – they we’re all too terrified of Davis to help Han.