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Man Convicted in Subway Assault

October 22, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ A former mental patient was convicted of attempted murder and assault Saturday for pushing a man into the path of a subway train that severed the man’s legs.

Julio Perez, 44, faces up to 25 years in prison for pushing Edgar Rivera, 37, onto the train tracks in April 1999.

Prosecutors said Perez was ``another drug addict with mental problems″ who deliberately pushed Rivera. Assistant District Attorney Peter Casolar said Perez was seeking attention by copying an earlier case in which a mental patient had pushed a woman to her death in a subway.

Perez, who was held down by a crowd until police arrived, pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

His lawyer said Perez had a 20-year psychiatric history and imagined ``a network of Mexicans″ was trying to kill him and that Rivera was part of the group. ``He pushed him because he was trying to save his own life,″ attorney Stephanie Kaplan said.

Perez’s sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 21.

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