UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man is under arrest after a woman was attacked at a subway station on the Upper East Side and shoved into a train.
Kamal Semrade, 39, is charged with attempted murder and assault in connection to the attack on 35-year-old Emine Ozsoy.
Semrade was picked by up detectives at a hotel-turned-homeless shelter near LaGuardia Airport in Queens at around 10 p.m. Monday.
The assault happened Sunday just after 6 a.m. on the platform of the Lexington Avenue - 63rd Street Station.
Police say the victim and suspect entered the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue subway station at about the same time and rode the same train to the Upper East Side station where they both got out.
As they stood at the station, detectives have Semrade on surveillance casually sitting there, having a cup of coffee. As the train starts to leave, he suddenly approached Ozsoy and shoved her head into a train.
Police say the attack appears random. However, detectives are looking to talk to anyone who was on the train to see if there was any interaction in the train cars.
Because of their similar travel patterns, detectives initially looked into whether the victim knew her attacker. Based on the interaction they see at both the Queens and Upper East Side subway stations, they do not believe that is the case.
Ozsoy was taken to the hospital to be treated for lacerations to the head and spinal injuries. She was able to talk to detectives but said she doesn't remember the attack.
Ozsoy was on her way to work at an espresso bar at the time of the attack. Ozsoy, a graphic designer from Turkey, worked there part-time.
Her co-workers were stunned by the attack and established a GoFundMe page to help pay her medical bills.
"When you hear that it happened to someone that you know, it hits so much harder," co-worker Chanira Reyes Gros said. "It's, honestly, it's difficult to describe, you know, it's a feeling that I've never experienced before. It was very gut wrenching."
Ozsoy's next-door neighbor spoke to Eyewitness News on Tuesday and said the victim is "super nice."
"She's petite, it would be really easy to hurt her, she just was really friendly and we said hello," Lila Stromer said. "And you know, she was a quiet neighbor. But you know it's kind of like in New York City you know each other in the elevator but you don't know each other. But so when we heard we were just horrified because she is really nice."
Semrade has a prior arrest for drinking in public and is currently homeless.
"The NYPD acted quickly, using pictures from MTA cameras, to arrest a suspect and start delivering justice to the victim, who is in our thoughts at this terrible time," said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. "It's now up to prosecutors to pursue maximum consequences available under the law."
NYPD reported an 8.1% reduction in crime in the subway so far this year, including a 12.8% decrease in felony assaults.
"With the exception of 2021, in the heart of the pandemic, this marks the third lowest year to the start of the year when it comes to subway crimes in recorded history," NYPD Deputy Chief Norman Grandstaff told the MTA board on Monday.
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