Man dies from fall onto NYC subway tracks after punch from teen

A bipolar teen ranting about God, the devil and the constant battle between good and evil sucker-punched an innocent straphanger Wednesday, sending the victim tumbling from a Brooklyn subway platform onto the tracks.

Jacinto Suarez, 65, landed on the R-line tracks at the Jay St./Metro Tech station at 2:35 p.m.

Suarez wasn’t hit by a train. And it wasn’t clear whether Suarez climbed back up on the platform or if onlookers helped him. But the grandfather’s story of survival took a tragic turn as medics performed CPR on him.

He had a massive heart attack on the platform and died at Brooklyn Hospital.

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“My dad don’t bother nobody,” the victim’s daughter, Tylenea Gonzalez, 34, told the Daily News. “My dad don’t bother nobody. I don’t know why anybody would do that to him. He went, he came home. I’m not gonna have him here anymore.”

Suarez had 10 children and 13 grandchildren.

“He’s a pain in the butt,” Gonzalez said of her dad from their Staten Island home. “But he’s a sweetheart. He helped me with my kids when I was working.”

She broke down in tears.

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“His silliness, his smile,” she recalled of her dad. “He was always dancing with the kids, cracking jokes.”

Suarez was on his way home from inquiring about his Social Security benefits when he was attacked.

The R train platform at Jay Street/Metro Tech where a teen allegedly sucker-punched an older man onto the tracks on Wednesday.

The R train platform at Jay Street/Metro Tech where a teen allegedly sucker-punched an older man onto the tracks on Wednesday.

(Derek Reed/New York Daily News)

“Whoever did whatever they did, I just want to get justice,” Gonzalez said. “That’s it.”

The subway horror sparked panic among dozens of straphangers who were on the platform.

“Everybody was screaming and we started to run,” said Jai Epperson, 22, stunned by the news that the victim died. “It could have been me.”

“In New York City it’s crazy,” he said. “I’m scared for my life.”

Andrew Cortez, 18, was mumbling to himself when he walked up to Suarez, police said.

“He approached the 65-year-old man and the male tells him to get away,” NYPD Assistant Chief Vincent Coogan told reporters. “The suspect walks away, then turned back and punched him.”

Coogan didn’t know how Suarez got back onto the platform but believes “good Samaritans helped him,” he said.

Shocked straphangers grabbed a cop at the station, who arrested Cortez, who also goes by Edward Cordero.

The Brownsville teen was brought to a transit police station for questioning and is expected to be taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric exam, cops said. Charges are pending.

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Police tape blocks an entrance to the R train platform Wednesday at Jay Street/Metro Tech where a young man allegedly pushed an older man onto the tracks.

(Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News)

Police sources with knowledge of the case said Cortez was rambling about God, heaven and hell and good versus evil when he attacked.

“This wasn’t part of a robbery or anything,” a police source said. “He was talking about God and suddenly he attacked the guy. He just went off and the victim happened to be there.”

Witnesses saw Cortez try to grab something from the older man before he hit him.

“I knew something was wrong,” said Pauly Johnson-Medina, 21. “The young one was way too close to him. He was trying to take something from him, then he pushed him.”

Cortez’s mother told police that the teen suffers from bipolar disorder, sources said.

The teen was arrested for a purse snatch in September, but Judge Rachel Freier ordered his release.

Since he’s been out of jail, Cortez was arrested twice more under his alias for turnstile jumping in Manhattan. Cops have also been repeatedly called to his Brooklyn home when he has mental health episodes, sources.

Trains on the R line bypassed Jay St. for hours as police investigated Suarez’s death.

Wednesday’s killing is the first murder to take place in the city transit system since November 2016, when cops arrested Melanie Liverpool for pushing Connie Watton in front of a No. 1 train at the Times Square subway hub, cops said. The 30-year-old subway shover is currently in jail as her case prepares to go to trial.

In July, a homeless man accused of fatally shoving a 59-year-old father in front of an oncoming Q train was acquitted of all charges.

With John Annese, Dan Rivoli

downtown brooklyn
new york robberies
new york assaults
teen violence
attacks on elderly

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