Today’s news:

Plunge from A train stuns onlookers

A man who robbed a Richmond Hill bank fell to his death Monday during a police chase as officers closed in on him on the A train platform on Liberty Avenue, the authorities and witnesses said.

Witness Niko Velez said the robber, whose identity was not immediately released by authorities, attempted to leap onto the roof of a storefront on Liberty Avenue and 113th Street, but came up short, falling head−first onto the sidewalk. Police declared the man dead at the scene.

“He thought he was Superman,” Velez said. “It was a loud thump. You could hear it down the block when his body hit the floor.”

Sam Faud, who works at a convenience store across the street from the grisly scene, said he was stunned by the jump.

“I was like, ‘Wow! What’s going on?’” Faud said. “It’s like the movies, except in the movies you get up.”

Before he fell to his death, the robber held up the Capitol One Bank at 83−24 Woodhaven Blvd. at around 9 a.m. Monday and fled with an undetermined amount of cash, police said.

Officers on foot and car chased the robber onto Liberty Avenue, where he got onto the A train platform, witnesses said. Officers ran onto the platform when the man made the deadly leap.

“He had to be nuts. You know what I mean, nuts,” said a woman who lives in an apartment near the corner where the man jumped. She said she did not see him make the leap, but went outside after a crowd gathered at the scene.

“Why did he jump? He’s so stupid,” said a man viewing the crime scene.

The A train continued to run as police investigated the incident, although one block of Liberty Avenue was closed to car traffic.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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