NYC subway shover Aditya Vemulapati sentenced to 8 years in prison for attempted murder

A homeless man who shoved a woman in front of a train as it barreled into the Union Square station was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday for the unprovoked attack, prosecutors said.

Aditya Vemulapati, 26, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder in June, will also have to serve five years of post-release supervision as part of his sentence, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. 

Vemulapati randomly shoved 40-year-old Liliana Sagbaicela in front of a No. 4 train as it arrived at Union Square at about 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2020.

Miraculously, Sagbaicela survived the attack after she landed on the track bed and a number of train cars passed over her, police said at the time.

Aditya Vemulapati was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday.
Steven Hirsch
Liliana Sagbaicela was the victim of a subway attack in New York City.
Victim Liliana Sagbaicela survived the harrowing attack.
1010 WINS / Carol D’Auria

“She fell, fortunately for her, between the row bed and the rails,” then-Transit Chief Kathleen O’Reilly said after the attack. “Very minor injuries but for the grace of God.”

After the the attack, Sagbaicela told 1010 WINS she viewed footage of the shove – and understood how lucky she was to be alive.

“I saw in the video, the man — oh my, God, I can’t believe it,” Sagbaicela told the radio station. “Is this happening? Now I understand why everybody and the police say to me, ‘You are alive for the miracles. You are a miracle.” 

A video shows the 2020 shove unfold in a New York City subway platform.
The 2020 subway shove occurred at the Union Square station.

Vemulapati was arrested moments after the incident and has been in jail since.

“Today’s sentence makes clear that we will hold accountable those who cause harm in our subway system,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Thursday.

“We will remain focused on those who harm straphangers just trying to commute to home or to work.”