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'He took my husband’s life over a phone': Wife of man pushed onto path of NY subway train wants justice

Carlos Garcia was charged for the death of Heriberto Quintana
Representative photo (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Representative photo (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: A Queens man was charged with manslaughter on Tuesday, October 18, for pushing a stranger into the path of an approaching subway train during a quarrel over a dropped phone.

“I want justice for my husband,” Heriberto Quintana's wife Hilda Rojas told NY Daily News. “He took my husband’s life over a phone.”

At the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station, Carlos Garcia allegedly pushed Quintana off the F train platform on Monday at roughly 4:45 pm. According to his distraught relatives, who spoke to the Daily News, Quintana, 48, was en route to pick up his wife Hilda and take her to get dialysis at the time of the altercation.


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Rojas, 46, said while sobbing, “He was my helper, my provider, And now I am alone.”

Police are in possession of footage that shows the fight between the two men, and the moment Quintana fell off the platform and was fatally struck by the train.

Garcia can be seen at the platform's yellow line as the train approaches the station, according to the surveillance footage seen by The News. As Garcia's phone fell over the railroad tracks as Quintana mistakenly ran into the suspect while wearing a red baseball cap, a fight ensued.

Quintana was yelled at by Garcia, according to police sources, "Aren’t you going to get my phone?”

The two men can then be seen fighting and rolling around on the crowded platform until Quintana is knocked to the tracks and hit by a train. Before the motorman could stop the train, two subway carriages rolled over the victim, according to the authorities. Quintana was given CPR by firefighters and EMTs, but he was not able to survive.

Upon being identified by startled onlookers as the man Quintana had been fighting with, Garcia was apprehended by police at the station. Before being charged with manslaughter on Tuesday, October 18, he was questioned all night.

Quintana had been travelling from his place of employment to the home he shared with his wife and two of their children in Jamaica Hills, Queens. For three years, Quintana's wife has suffered from kidney disease. Three times a week, he drove her to receive dialysis, she claimed.

“He was in a rush because he had to take me to dialysis,I was calling and calling, but no one picked up,” Rojas said.

She boarded a cab and headed to her appointment after he failed to appear. She finally got a call telling her that her spouse had died. Rojas used to work as a house cleaner but has been unable to since her illness.

“He was a good man.He was a responsible man. He was a good father," she said.