WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A 21-year-old White Plans woman underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon for serious injuries she suffered after being pushed onto the Metro-North tracks in front of a moving train.
As CBS 2's John Slattery reported, it was the last thing the young woman must have expected – being pushed by a man routinely hanging around the White Plains station.
"A homeless man hangs out in front here -- decides he wants to inflict some pain to somebody, asks somebody for change," said newsstand operator Gary Waxman. "And one girl upstairs decides to come out of bathroom. She refused to give him money, and he pushed her in front of the train."
It was an empty northbound Metro-North train pulling into the station that seriously injured the woman.
"Fingers were gone, legs were mangled -- that's what I heard from police. That's what they told me," Waxman said.
At the same time, several commuters who saw what happened followed the man and notified police.
"Four passengers -- they brought them downstairs here; the MTA police immediately arrested him," Waxman said. "They came in, went up the station as quickly as possible."
The man who runs the newsstand said the attacker is a regular in the area.
"And he had no confession or nothing; he just stood there calmly and got arrested," Waxman said.
Waxman said the man did not say anything that he heard, but, "I'm hearing through the grapevine that he mention that, 'Now you're going to take care of me.' "
The suspect -- Howard J. Mickens, 39, who lives in a White Plains shelter – was charged with second-degree attempted homicide, police told 1010 WINS.
The victim, who was not identified, was being treated at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
The victim is a Hunter College student. While she did suffer serious injuries, she was able to speak with arriving police officers and describe the events that led to the attack, Slattery reported.
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