Suspect charged with murder for fatal unprovoked East Harlem subway shove

NEW YORK — Police have charged the man they say shoved a stranger into the path of an oncoming East Harlem subway train during a horrific unprovoked attack.

Carlton Mcpherson, 24, is facing murder charges for the Monday night random attack at the 125th St. No. 4 station, resulting in the death of Jason Volz, 54.

The suspect, a Bronx resident, was out on bail after he assaulted a man with a cane in Brooklyn on Halloween, cops and court papers say.

Mcpherson was on the uptown platform when he allegedly shoved Volz onto the tracks. A moment later, a No. 4 train rumbled into the station, fatally striking the victim.

Cops found Volz under a train car. He died at the scene of severe injuries to his face and body.

Stunned straphangers alerted cops on the mezzanine, who ran down to the platform and took Mcpherson into custody as the suspect walked past them, a police source with knowledge of the case said.

Volz was born and raised in Corona, Queens, and then Long Island, graduating from high school in Huntington, said family. He is survived by a daughter.

“I remember the day he was born, May 3, 1969,” uncle, Eddie Volz, 71, said in a phone interview. “I remember when he came home from the hospital.

“He’s a good redheaded articulate human being that had his trials and tribulations in life but he got through them,” said the grieving relative. “He had a very big heart.”

Neighbors described the victim as an “honest” and “respectful” man who always wore a hat wherever he went.

“I was just talking to him yesterday morning,” neighbor Sammy Sanchez, 58, told the Daily News on Tuesday. “I can’t believe that was the last time. It just feels so cold. For that to happen … I just feel so heartbroken.

“Now when I’m in the subway, I hold onto the beam just in case anyone does anything stupid,” he added.

Another New Yorker described Volz as generous, lending help whenever it was needed.

“He looked out for me and I really appreciated that. He was a real nice man. Damn, I just seen him,” said Tony Brown.

Brown said during a period of homelessness, Volz gave him food and let him take showers and change at his place.

“Always made sure I had something to eat,” Brown said of the victim. “After I got my place, I didn’t come by here much anymore. Damn. I’m really devastated.”

Volz was “kind of a loner” and worked as a carpenter, according to Brown.

Mcpherson has been arrested multiple times and is believed to be emotionally disturbed. The NYPD responded to at least one prior incident in which he was acting erratic, according to police sources.

Last Halloween, he was arrested on assault, menacing, harassment and other charges for allegedly bashing a worker at a Myrtle Ave. shelter in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with a cane, cops and prosecutors said. The victim was hit in the leg, arm and face, but wasn’t seriously harmed.

When Mcpherson was arraigned on the charges, he was not given bail but put on supervised release.

Mcpherson was arrested again when he failed to show up to court and was held on $2,000 cash bail. He was ultimately released after the victim of the assault refused to cooperate and prosecutors were unable to get an indictment.

“The defendant was held on bail after failing to appear in court,” a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said. “Unfortunately, the victim’s reluctance to cooperate meant that, by law, he had to be released.”

Mcpherson was due to return to court on the assault charges in July.

Cops also arrested him for fare evasion at a Brownsville train stop in November and for two burglaries last year in Brooklyn and Queens.

Monday’s attack came as authorities have been struggling to crack down on subway crime.

As of March 24, cops have seen a 7% jump in felony assaults, from 124 this time last year to 133.

Monday’s attack also marked the fourth homicide in the city’s transit system in the first three months of the year. This time last year, only one homicide had taken place.

Eight hundred more police officers are being sent into the subway system to crack down on fare evasion, NYPD brass said earlier Monday — an effort they hope will reduce overall levels of crime in the system.

The 800 uniformed and plainclothes cops conducting fare enforcement operations will join the 1,000 cops added to the system in February following an uptick in pickpocketing and grand larcenies at the start of the year.

“He was a gentle, easy person,” Brown said of Volz. “He would give you his heart if he had to.”