NEW YORK — Michelle Alyssa Go spent more than a decade as a volunteer helping the homeless — only to be fatally pushed under the wheels of a Time Square subway train by a mentally ill homeless man, according to police.
On Monday, the New York Junior League, where Go volunteered, urged city leaders to do something about the mental health crisis in the city.
“We call upon the city’s leadership to urgently address the lack of mental health and other supports for underserved communities,” Dayna Barlow Cassidy posted on Instagram next to a photo of Go.
The death sent shockwaves through the Junior League, a 120-year-old women’s volunteer organization, where Go was remembered for her passion for face-to-face work helping prep homeless men and women for job interviews, burnishing their resumes and teaching them financial literacy.
The 40-year-old senior manager for Deloitte Consulting was waiting on the platform on Jan. 15 when Simon Martial, 61, allegedly shoved her into the path of a train as it rolled into the station about 9:30 a.m.
“Michelle’s vivacious nature and joy for life were evident to everyone who knew her, and it is absolutely heart-breaking that her life was ended in such a horrific and senseless way,” a Junior League partner said. “My prayers and love go out to her family and friends. Her death is a tremendous loss for all of us, the people of New York.”
Go graduated from the University of California and earned an MBA from NYU’s Stern School for Business, according to her LinkedIn.com profile. But she devoted herself to uplifting the homeless.
“She focused more on helping them feel empowered by the trainings she would do one-on-one,” Barlow Cassidy said. “These populations would need help with everything to re-enter society and become independent again.”
Go also volunteered through the Junior League to help seniors, immigrants and under-resourced elementary and middle school-age children struggling academically, and their parents.
“Michelle always volunteered with a giant smile and enthusiasm that made both community members and other volunteers enjoy working with her,” her Junior League partners said.
Martial, who has a history of mental illness, has been arrested 10 times since 1998. He served time in 2018 for robbing a taxi cab in Greenwich Village. His parole for that crime expired last year.
He randomly targeted Go on the platform and she tried to avoid him before he heaved her onto the rail bed, according to authorities. There’s no indication that this was a hate crime, police said. He had first tried to push another woman who escaped his grasp.
Martial confessed to police and admitted to reporters outside the precinct station house that he had committed the crime.
“Yeah, because I’m God, yes I did!” he said. “Because I’m God I can do it!”
Martial on Monday remained at at Bellevue Hospital, which often handles psychiatric evaluations of suspects in police custody. Police have charged him with murder.