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Brooklyn man booked for murder in fatal shove of woman at Chinatown train station

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The suspect, later identified as David Robinson, who allegedly knocked a 58-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son down a flight of stairs during a robbery attempt at the Canal Street subway station in Chinatown on July 17, 2021.
Screenshot from video courtesy of NYPD

After a four-month investigation, police picked up a Brooklyn man Friday who allegedly shoved a woman down a flight of stairs, and ultimately caused her death, during a robbery attempt at a Chinatown station back in July.

David Robinson, 53, of Macon Street in Ocean Hill was collared in the 5th Precinct’s confines on Nov. 26 in connection with the July 17 incident at the Canal Street station near the N line. 

Robinson was arraigned Saturday night and ordered held on $100,000 bail, according to court records.

Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives linked Robinson to the crime after receiving an anonymous tip through the NYPD’s CrimeStoppers hotline.

Law enforcement sources said Robinson allegedly pushed Than Wtwe Than, 58, of 65th Street in Brooklyn down a stairwell while attempting to rob her and her son. She suffered a severe brain injury in the attack, and died four days later.

Police said Robinson confronted the 58-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son as they walked up the stairwell at the Canal Street stop at about 9:40 a.m. on July 17. He allegedly tried to yank a backpack away from the 22-year-old son — but that caused the son to lose his balance on the stairwell.

Published reports indicated that the son reached for his mother in an attempt to prevent the fall, but that sent both of them tumbling down the stairwell. The robber, meanwhile, fled back into the subway station to parts unknown, police reported.

Officers from the 5th Precinct and NYPD Transit District 2 responded to the incident. While her son wasn’t injured, Than was rushed to a local hospital with critical injuries, and succumbed to them on July 21.

Robinson faces a single count of murder and two counts of manslaughter, police reported.

Tim Minton, the MTA’s communications director, issued a statement Saturday regarding the incident: “This was a terrible crime over the summer and our hearts continue to go out to the victim’s family. Once again, it is clear that with cameras in every subway station, anyone who preys on transit riders can expect to be identified and face justice. We urge prosecutors to be as aggressive in court as the NYPD was in its investigation.”

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