Brussels metro attacker had mental health issues, says family

Brussels metro attacker had mental health issues, says family
Stills from the station CCTV footage capturing the attack.

Relatives of a man who has been charged with attempted murder after CCTV showed him pushing a woman off a Brussels metro platform have said that he "urgently needs to address his (mental health) problems", Belgian press reported Monday.

The incident took place on Friday at around 19:40 with the camera footage showing the eerie moment that the man crept up behind the unsuspecting woman before pushing her onto the tracks from behind. The footage shows no sign of any provocation or even any prior connection between the suspect and his victim.

An unnamed family member told Flemish-language daily Het Nieuwsblad that they "couldn't fathom what came over him", after prosecutors said the 23-year-old had no known links to the victim.

An investigating magistrate ordered that the suspect undergo a judicial psychiatric expertise to determine if he was criminally responsible for his actions. In Belgium, a suspect can be locked up in a psychiatric prison wing six months at a time and potentially indefinitely.

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Footage of the attack on Friday evening at Rogier station was widely shared on social media. The driver was able to stop the metro car in time as fellow commuters helped the woman back onto the platform and the man was intercepted moments later in the adjoining De Brouckère station.

On Saturday, a woman died in New York after being pushed in front of an incoming subway train.


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