Long before she was accused of pushing a Queens man to his death on the subway tracks, Erika Menendez was arrested at least twice on misdemeanor charges related to violence and had a history of family members calling police to report erratic behavior related to her mental health, a law-enforcement official said.Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised.
Over the past 12 years, police have records of 14 encounters with Ms. Menendez, 31 years old, who has been charged with murder as a hate crime in last Thursday’s subway death. In at least four of those instances, the official said, Ms. Menendez’s mother, Maricela Mera, told police that Ms. Menendez had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, an illness marked by extreme shifts in mood, and was acting violently.
Ms. Menendez, of the Rego Park section of Queens, has nine prior arrests on charges that include cocaine and marijuana possession, harassment and assault, the official said. Two of the arrests in 2003 resulted in charges of assault for allegedly punching men, the official said. In five of the nine cases, Ms. Menendez received a conditional discharge without jail time. Four of the cases have been sealed, and no details were available Sunday.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Doubtless you saw the news story about the second person shoved under a subway car (which was of course fatal) in a week in New York City. To Old To Work, To Young To Retire points to this December 30, 2012 Wall Street Journal report concerning the woman currently being held for the second of these murders: