New York Post


Man who shoved a dad to his death acquitted


The homeless man who fatally pushed a drunken dad into the path of a subway train in 2012 was acquitted yesterday by jurors who bought his self-defense claim. Naeem Davis (below) wa s jubilant — but one lawyer warned, “It’s open season on commuters.”

The homeless man who shoved a drunken Queens dad to his death on a subway platform nearly five years ago walked out of court a free man Monday — leaving the victim’s family floored.

“I’m thankful for my freedom,” said Naeem Davis, 34, after being cleared of all charges by a Manhattan Supreme Court jury.

The family of Ki-Suck Han — who died when Davis pushed him in front of an oncoming Q train at the 49th Street station on Dec. 3, 2012 — was shocked.

They are “incredibly disappoint­ed,’’ said lawyer Michael Kremins, who is representi­ng Han’s relatives in a separate civil lawsuit. “It’s very difficult to comprehend how you can be acquitted on all counts.’’

Han’s desperate final moments were caught in a photo that appeared on the front page of The Post at the time.

A jury of seven women and five men deliberate­d for nearly four days before declaring Davis not guilty of second-degree murder, two counts of manslaught­er and one count of criminally negligent homicide.

Davis, who faced life in prison if convicted, had testified that he had accidental­ly bumped into Han inside the station before the intoxicate­d father threatened him and grabbed his shoulder.

Davis’ lawyer, Stephen Pokart, argued that his client acted in self-defense when he pushed Han, saying the vagrant was trying to “defuse” a “combustibl­e situation” brought by a “deranged and threatenin­g” man.

Asked by reporters Monday what he would tell Han’s family, Davis replied, “It’s like I told his wife when she came to visit me in the precinct. I’m sorry, and I felt bad that she lost her husband.

“But it’s not something that I asked for.”

But Kremins warned that the verdict is dangerous.

“I think it sends a poor message out to the public and to our fellow commuters that anytime there is an argument, and there are plenty on the subways these days, it’s OK to just push somebody onto the tracks,” he said. “If the jury says this is OK, then I think it’s open season on commuters.”

Jury forewoman Gretchen Pfeil cried and embraced Davis as he walked out of court with his few

possession­s, including a Koran, prayer rug and backpack.

“For me, there was a lack of evidence on most of the charges,” Pfeil told reporters.

“As a jury, I think, the vast majority of us from the beginning of our deliberati­ons believed the prosecutio­n had failed to prove that the defendant was not justified in his actions.

“And by the end of our deliberati­ons, I believe we were of one mind that he was, in fact, justified in his actions, or at least the prosecutio­n had not convinced us otherwise.”

Another juror, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “We couldn’t say that in [Davis’s] mind, he wasn’t reasonable.

“Personally, you don’t want to put somebody out on the street who is deliberate­ly pushing peo- ple in the subway, and we couldn’t establish that was his intent . .. We came to the conclusion he was justified,” the juror said.

At trial, Assistant District Attorney Charles Whitt had conceded that Han was “staggering like a zombie, stumbling incoherent­ly” but said that didn’t justify Davis’ extreme reaction.

Davis repeatedly asked Han to leave him alone as Han pursued him along the subway platform at about 12:20 p.m., witnesses testified during the three-week trial.

“I’m going to f--king kill you,” the inebriated straphange­r growled at Davis, two witnesses testified.

Davis responded by pushing Han onto the tracks, which his lawyer argued was “rational and an act of self-defense.”

But prosecutor­s said Davis had become angered by the intrusive, annoying stranger and acted out of rage, not fear, when he used both his hands to propel the 5-foot-3, 122-pound Han onto the tracks.

“[Han] went flying back, flying through the air,” said Whitt, who compared the violent act to tossing a “feeble old man” in front of a train.

Davis coolly observed the gruesome scene, “listening to Mr. Han’s sternum and bones crack, [watching] the blood coming out of his mouth,” said the prosecutor, citing Davis’ own statements.

Following his acquittal, Davis, who expressed an intention to join family members in Paris, said, “I knew it would happen eventually. If you work and have a job and do the right thing, the law is going to work on your behalf.”

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 ??  ?? Naeem Davis leaves court Monday after a jury acquitted him for pushing Ki-Suck Han (inset) to his death onto the tracks as a subway barreled in (Post flashback). FREEDOM:
Naeem Davis leaves court Monday after a jury acquitted him for pushing Ki-Suck Han (inset) to his death onto the tracks as a subway barreled in (Post flashback). FREEDOM:

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