The NY Post is taking heat for publishing a cover photo of a man just moments before he is run over and killed by a subway train in New York on Monday.
Ki Suk Han, 58, of Queens, was described by the Post as a "good samaritan" who tried to protect NY transit riders from a crazed panhandler at the Times Square station.
The unidentified panhandler exchanged words with Mr. Han before shoving the middle aged man onto the train tracks. Mr. Han desperately tried to climb back onto the platform but he was too weak to lift himself.
Han's wife, who lived with him and their college-age daughter in Elmhurst, said he was drinking and they argued before he left home.
After pushing Han, the panhandler picked up his paper change cup and fled on foot. Surveillance cameras at the station show an unkempt black man wearing a knit skull cap arguing with Han on the platform prior to the attack.
Witnesses tell the Post Han was hit by the train and dragged 10-15 feet down the tracks. Dr. Laura Kaplan, who was on the platform and witnessed the attack, grabbed her stethoscope and tried to help Han.
“I heard what I thought were heart sounds,” she said, but Han wasn't breathing.
“There was blood coming out his mouth. We couldn’t do CPR. He wasn’t in the right position. and there was just no way to get him out of there.”
NY Post photographer R. Umar Abbasi was also on the platform waiting for the train when he snapped 2 photos of Mr. Han's last moments on earth.
“The most painful part was I could see him getting closer to the edge. He was getting so close,” Abbasi said. “And people were running toward him and the train.
“As I was running toward the train, the man I believe pushed him ran the other way, and I heard him say, ‘Goddamn motherf--ker.’
One of Abbasi's photos was published on the cover of the Post this morning. The Post was immediately besieged by angry phone calls and emails from its outraged readers.
The Post explained that Abbasi was too weak to lift Mr. Han onto the platform.
Abbasi himself gave the excuse that he was using his camera's flash in an attempt to warn the train conductor that a man was on the tracks.
“I didn’t think about [the perp] until after," said Abbasi. "In that moment, I just wanted to warn the train — to try and save a life.”
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