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Advocates: Deadly subway shoving shows need for culturally-appropriate mental illness care

NEW YORK – It has been just over one month since Martial Simon, 61, was arrested after fatally shoving passenger Michelle Go onto the subway tracks at the Times Square station. His family members have since said Simon was homeless with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but received little help for his mental illness.

Simon, who faces second-degree murder charges, had immigrated from Haiti at age 13 and was raised in Newark, New Jersey, according to a New York Times report. He first started showing symptoms of mental illness in his 30s and had spent decades in and out of hospitals and shelters in New York City, often ranting to close friends against the medical establishment and lack of stable housing. 

In a Feb. 16 phone call, his sister Josette Simon, who resides near Atlanta, declined to speak further about her brother, citing advice an attorney shared with her family. 

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