A deranged woman who told cops she detests Muslims broke into a maniacal fit of laughter as she was charged with a hate crime Saturday, three days after she allegedly shoved an Indian immigrant to his death in front of a Queens train.
Erika Menendez, 31, confessed to the savage act after she was nabbed on a Brooklyn street about 5 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.
“I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims — ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers, I’ve been beating them up,” cops said Menendez told detectives..”
At her arraignment late Saturday night, Menendez started cackling as prosecutors read aloud her bizarre and contradictory statements to detectives:
“I spent time in Times Square. You will find me on the video. I wasn’t in Queens,” she said. But at another point, she claimed “I pushed a Muslim on the tracks.”.
Menendez’s laughter accompanying the recitation of her statements infuriated the judge.
“Tell your client this is not funny,” Queens Criminal Court Judge Gia Morris thundered, speaking to defense lawyer Dietrich Epperson. “This is not appropriate.”
Menendez was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the gruesome death of Sunando Sen, 46, who was raised a Hindu.
Before she was ordered held without bail, prosecutors revealed Menendez has expressed no remorse — and even bragged about smoking pot and having sex with her “man in Brooklyn” after the murderous deed.
The demented drifter will undergo a psychiatric exam to determine whether she is mentally competent..
Cops say Menendez, without warning, pushed Sen in front of an oncoming No. 7 train at the 40th St./Lowery stop in Sunnyside about 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The deranged drifter - who witnesses said was mumbling to herself but never said a word to Sen before the fatal shove - ran downstairs from the elevated tracks after the attack.
A flood of tips came in, including one from the suspect's brother, after police released a grainy video showing a woman in a puffy jacket sprinting from the station.
The pudgy Menendez was captured near Bedford Ave. and Empire Blvd. in Crown Heights after she was spotted by an eagle-eyed passer-by, who recognized her from the video and called 911. Wearing the same jacket, Menendez appeared disoriented and was asking for directions to the subway, sources said.
She was hauled off to the 112th Precinct stationhouse in Forest Hills. A witness who had been sitting next to her on the subway platform picked her out of a line-up, cops said..
Three other witnesses identified Menendez in the video, said Prosecutor Michelle Kaszuba, who acknowledged there was only one positive identification from four line-ups.
A wild-eyed Menendez seemed startled as she was led out of the stationhouse in handcuffs, en route to her arraignment, about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
“Whoa,” Menendez shouted as she was led past a horde of photographers, refusing to answer reporters’ questions.
In Rego Park, a doorman at the building where Menendez’s mother and stepfather live said she visited regularly.
“I know her. ... You could tell that something was not right, like she needed medication or something,” said the doorman, who didn't want to give his name. “It’s just very sad what happened.”
Angel Luis Santiago, who worked in the building as a doorman for 40 years, said Menendez spent time in rehab and hospitals.
“When she didn't take her medication, she got wacko,” said Santiago on Saturday.
Another building resident said she never thought Menendez was capable of killing anyone.
“I didn't see any anger in her, or any violent tendencies,” said Janet Heene.
Sen's roommate, Ar Suman, said he’s glad police made an arrest.
“This is good news,” said the 33-year-old Suman. “They need to keep her locked up. After that, it’s for God to decide.”5.