In a further sign of the continuing chaos and decline of Democrat-run big cities, the homeless suspect charged with murdering a young woman by shoving her in front of an oncoming subway train looks set to escape his just desserts.
Martial Simon has been charged with second-degree murder in the shoving death of Michelle Alyssa Go, a 40-year-old consultant for Deloitte. According to reporting from The New York Times, last month Simon was declared mentally unfit to stand trial by psychiatrists at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan. The declaration was affirmed at a court hearing on Tuesday, and Simon will now be remanded for indefinite detention at a psychiatric facility and his trial will be suspended. Simon, 61, has been detained at Bellevue since his arrest in January.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had requested a period of time to review the decision by Bellevue psychiatrists and determine a course of action, but during Tuesday’s court hearing the prosecutors evidently decided not to contest the psychiatrists’ findings, according to The Times. Simon will remain in the custody of the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene until such time as he is able to stand trial—which is likely to be never.
It’s not known at this time to which facility Simon will be remanded, although his lawyer, H. Mitchell Schuman, informed the New York Times that he expected it to be either the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center on Wards Island or the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center, about an hour’s drive upstate.
The New York Times, in a rare moment of journalistic ambition, uncovered something of Simon’s background. He was formerly a cab driver and parking lot manager who began developing symptoms of schizophrenia in his 30s. After the diagnosis, he circulated endlessly through mental hospitals, jails, outpatient programs, and back to the streets. In a lucid and prophetic moment, Simon reportedly told a psychiatrist at a state-run facility in 2017 that it was but a matter of time before he shoved a woman onto train tracks. Nevertheless, Simon was released shortly thereafter.
In January, a massive vigil was held in Times Square to honor Go. Aside from the rigors of her professional life, she took the time to volunteer with the New York Junior League to assist the city’s vast numbers of homeless.
“Michelle, we will miss you deeply,” Louise Chang, a work colleague, said at the vigil. “Know you will always be in our hearts and memories.”
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams offered a few carefully-chosen platitudes. “I’m recommitted to make sure this will not happen in our city. We have to do this together.”
“On day one, I took the subway system, I felt unsafe,” he added. “I saw homeless everywhere. People were yelling on the trains. There was a feeling of disorder. So as we deal with the crime problem, we also have to deal with the fact people feel unsafe.” He and New York Governor Kathy Hochul have promised to strengthen the police presence in subways and increase homeless outreach.
Despite a significant recent uptick in the number of subway crimes in New York, and the increasing prevalence of violence against Asians in the city, the murder of Michelle Alyssa Go has not been declared a hate crime. Unfortunately, hate crime or not, it seems her murder will go unpunished.
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