Witnesses say a 21-year-old woman was pushed in front of a train by a beggar that she refused to give money to.
Maya Leggat was standing on the northbound platform of the White Plains station in New York at 11:05am (1:05am AEST )on Wednesday when the 39-year-old homeless man, identified as Howard Mickens, came up from behind and shoved her on to the track where an empty train hit her as it pulled into the station.
"A homeless man hangs out in front here - decides he wants to inflict some pain to somebody, asks somebody for change," newsstand operator Gary Waxman told CBS. "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."
"Fingers were gone, legs were mangled — that’s what I heard from police. That’s what they told me," he said. "The MTA police immediately arrested him ... and he had no confession or nothing; he just stood there calmly and got arrested."
Mickens has been charged with second-degree attempted murder.
Ms Legatt had surgery at the Westchester Medical Centre where she was listed in a critical condition but is expected to survive.
She had a severed artery in her leg and is expected to need multiple surgeries on her leg. She also has a head injury and cuts and bruising all over her body.