This is very upsetting: Someone forwarded Gothamist footage of a man — who seems to be either high or mentally ill — lying on the subway tracks, screaming and resisting other people’s attempts to pull him to safety. The video, which was filmed late at night this winter at the 175th Street A station, ends with everyone else jumping back onto the platform as the train comes into view and rolls over him. Miraculously, he survived by burrowing into the trackbed, but that doesn’t really make the scene any less terrifying.
Gothamist’s unnamed tipster wanted to make sure that the world knew that he was not the person who stood by and filmed someone as he almost died. As for the one who did? “He said he was wasted too … In the video the guy’s friend asks him to go down and help but he refuses.” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said that the disturbed man refused medical aid, but was taken to Columbia Presbyterian hospital for observation anyway.
“We encourage customers who come across a situation like this to contact a police officer or MTA personnel immediately,” Ortiz told the New York Daily News. He added that bystanders should not start recording these things until they’ve called for help, but obviously it’s pretty difficult to get people to follow that particular suggestion.
Update: The person who took the video, Omar Diaz, has sent Gothamist (non-embedabble) footage of the aftermath of the incident, which he says began after the man “jumped down there on his own.” Here, you can see the man who survived his brush with the train — apparently totally unharmed — looking sort of sheepish and sitting on a staircase while an MTA worker radios for assistance. Meanwhile, his justifiably irate friend tells him, “We all tried to fucking help you. All of us.”
Diaz also explained why he didn’t join them. “I did not wanna help because the guy looked like he was on something … So they asked for my help and I refused because I didn’t know what they were capable of. And I’m a big dude so it would’ve been hard for me to get back up.” He added that he just had a baby and so didn’t think he should “risk my life over anybody that I didn’t know.” Not everybody needs to be a hero!