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Latino Daily News

Friday February 24, 2012

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Found Guilty of Pushing Fashion Exec Onto Subway Tracks

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Found Guilty of Pushing Fashion Exec Onto Subway Tracks

Photo: Man found guilty of assault but not attempted murder for pushing woman onto tracks

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In August 2010, Ute Linhart, a German fashion executive says she was pushed in front of a oncoming subway train in New York.

The man shown in surveillance footage of the horrifying ordeal was 26-year-old Jose Rojas, a cook at Cipriani’s.

Though Rojas is clearly the man in the footage, he maintained that he did not intentionally push her onto the tracks, his lawyers claiming he drunkenly tripped, fell, and knocked into her.
Witnesses stated that just before Linhart was pushed onto the tracks, Rojas was wandering around the platform glaring at people. Immediately after the incident, Rojas was arrested and, as a point of reference, his blood-alcohol level was found to be twice the legal limit to drive.

As a result of the incident, Linhart’s jaw, cheek bone, shoulder, forearm, several teeth, and eight ribs were broken. She also suffered a collapsed lung.

Friday, a jury acquitted Rojas of attempted murder but instead found him guilty of first-degree assault. However, the conviction while a lesser charge, still carries the same possible sentence of 5 to 25 years in prison.

Rojas’ lawyer stated that what happened was an accident, and that his client should not be punished for an accident, no matter what the outcome.

As a result of the injuries she received that say, Linhart says she is “in pain every day of my life.

Before August 11, 2010, Linhart and Rojas were complete strangers.