A woman was killed when a man arrested eight previous times for subway muggings grabbed her purse containing $1 and shoved her between the cars of a moving train, authorities said.

Grace Cheng, 31, died late Tuesday, about 12 hours after the attack on a subway platform at 96th Street and Central Park West, said Transit Authority spokesman Al O'Leary.Police said Brian Lawrence, 30, of Irvington, N.J., grabbed Cheng's purse, and ran off the train at the station. Cheng gave chase, and was pushed between the subway cars during a struggle with Lawrence, police said.

She was dragged several feet before falling to the track bed, police said. Two men jumped onto the track after the train had crushed Cheng and lifted her to the platform, O'Leary said.

Cheng, whose left leg was nearly severed by the train, died during emergency surgery at St. Luke's Hospital, said Judy Murphy, a hospital spokeswoman.

Lawrence was arrested by two transit authority police officers who saw him running from the subway station and followed.

They took him into custody when he stopped to examine the woman's wallet, O'Leary said. He will be charged with murder, robbery, assault and possession of stolen property, O'Leary said.

Police said Lawrence had eight previous arrests in connection with subway muggings. He was to undergo psychiatric observation pending an arraignment.