03/26/2012 09:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

L Train Murder: NYPD Releases Footage Of Suspect In The Killing Of Joshua Basin (VIDEO)

Police have released surveillance footage in the case of the college student killed by a Manhattan-bound L train Friday night during a physical altercation with another man, CBS reports.


Police say a suspect provoked 20-year-old Joshua Basin into a fight on the L train Friday night that spilled onto Bedford Avenue platform and then onto the train tracks. Witnesses say the suspect, described as in his 30s, was drunk and "looking for a fight" when he picked on Basin, a student at LaGuarida Community College in Queens. After the two fell onto the tracks, the suspect was able to climb back onto the platform before fleeing the scene. Basin wasn't able to climb out in time and was pinned between an oncoming train and the platform.

Brooklyn resident Sean R. Nyffeler, who was on the train at the time, describes what he saw:

I was on this train. Sitting in the frontmost car, actually—the one that hit him and pinned him against the platform—and I felt the two or three dull thuds that jostled the entire car when it ran him over. The conductor was clearly trying her best to stop in time, but I don’t think people realize just how fast these trains go. The statistic you always hear is that 50% off all people who go down onto the tracks die, regardless of when or why or how inebriated.

The conductor rushed back into the car and told us all to back up away from the windows. She kept shouting, “Get back! You don’t want to see this!” She had to stand up on the seats and yell through the sliver of opened window, instructing people on the platform to take his pulse. She told all of us to go into the next car, but as we shuffled through the emergency doors another MTA worker came in from the second car and opened half of one of the doors in our car, ushering us out through there.

They told us not to crowd around and, yeah, I believed the conductor when she said I didn’t want to see this, but in my daze I caught a glimpse of him before I turned and left the station. He was stuck, like all the articles say, between the car and the platform from his waist down, facing the train. He was moving his arms so I knew he wasn’t dead yet, but as I stumbled up the stairs and onto Bedford Ave. I also knew there was no coming back from that. I spent the rest of the night in a state of shock and horror.

Police say surveillance footage outside the Bedford stop in Williamsburg shows the suspect--described as "in his 30s, about 6 feet tall with brown hair and was last seen wearing a fleece jacket and sneakers"--leaving the scene of the crime, which stranded L train commuters at the corner of Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street. A sketch of the suspect:

Basin lived with mother and maternal grandmother in Queens. Saturday morning his mother, Zena Basin, told The New York Times her son was a good listener who wanted to be a psychiatrist. "Whenever his friends had a problem, he was always there for them,” Ms. Basin said. “And he was always there for me."

At the subway station Saturday morning, someone had laid a bouquet of flowers on the tracks.

Anyone with any information regarding the incident is asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 800-577-TIPS, visit WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.