NEW YORK — A man suspected in a deadly mugging on a subway station stairway was arrested four months later after someone spotted him in Central Park and called a tip line, police said Saturday.
David Robinson, 53, appeared in court a day after his arrest on manslaughter charges in the death of Htwe Than Than. A request for comment was sent to his defense attorney.
Police said the 58-year-old victim was walking up some steps in a station in Manhattan’s Chinatown with her 22-year-old son on July 17 when Robinson grabbed the son’s backpack, propelling both son and mother down the stairs. She was in a coma for several days before succumbing to her injuries.
Robinson told police he became angry “because he believed the man had thrown garbage at him,” according to a criminal complaint. He claimed the 22-year-old man grabbed onto his mother as he tumbled backward, causing her to fall as well.
“The defendant heard a crack when the mother’s head struck the ground,” the complaint says.
A seamstress who made aprons, Htwe Than Than came to the U.S. from Myanmar about three years ago, according to WABC-TV, which interviewed her family in July.
The New York Police Department publicly identified Robinson as a suspect later that month.
The assault happened amid a wave of concern about crime, particularly in subways, in the nation’s most populous city. Crime spiked in the subway system as ridership plunged during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This was a terrible crime over the summer, and our hearts continue to go out to the victim’s family,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson Tim Minton said in a statement Saturday.
Noting that the transit agency now has security cameras in every station, he said that “anyone who preys on transit riders can expect to be identified and face justice.”