The White Plains Examiner

Defendant Gets 25 Years for Pushing Student in Path of Train

We are part of The Trust Project

Howard Mickens, 41, a White Plains homeless person was sentenced to 25 years in prison on his December 2014 guilty plea for attempted murder in the second degree when he pushed student Maya Leggat in front of a Metro-North Railroad train at the White Plains station in September 2013.

“Without any warning or prior interaction, this defendant pushed a young woman on her way to school in front of a moving commuter train. While this young woman’s quick and clear headed thinking saved her life, this defendant will now be held to account for his actions and serve the maximum sentence allowed by law,” District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a statement about the case.

On September 25, 2013, at approximately 11a.m., the defendant and the victim were on the platform at the Metro North White Plains train station. As a train was entering the station, the defendant approached the victim from behind and pushed her into the path of the oncoming train.

The victim was then struck by the train, resulting in numerous injuries, including a broken back, a severed finger, multiple broken bones and lacerations across her body. The train’s operator put the train into emergency mode and contacted dispatchers.

The defendant then attempted to flee the scene, walking away from the platform and down a set of stairs. Several witnesses to the incident followed him and shouted for the police. Upon seeing two Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) police officers, the witnesses shouted to the officers that the defendant had just pushed a woman in front of the train. One officer then took defendant into custody, while the other went to the victim to provide medical assistance. The officer and other emergency personnel who arrived on the scene provided the victim with first aid and she was then transported to the hospital.

The defendant was detained at the scene for a brief period of time and subsequently placed under arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Ward, Deputy Division Chief of the Superior Court Trial Division prosecuted the case.

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.