The 6 train at the 3 Avenue subway station in the Bronx. Photo: YouTube
NEW YORK – Greek-American Cornell University senior Bryce Demopoulos rescued a man who had fallen on the subway tracks at the Third Avenue-138 Street station on the No. 6 line in the Bronx on August 4, New York University’s Washington Square News (WSN) reported on August 5. The incident occurred at about 6 AM.
“It was pretty surreal,” Demopoulos told WSN. “While I was actually on the track, I did hear a train getting louder and louder and I didn’t know if it was on that track or another track at first. I knew that I could get out of the way quickly, but I was worried about carrying him out.”
“Demopoulos was visiting his friend, CAS [NYU’s College of Arts and Science] junior Andre Dubovskiy, who lives near NYU’s Washington Square campus,” WSN reported, adding that “early Thursday morning, the two entered the station, heading to the medical labs at Weill Cornell Medicine, where Demopoulos works,” and “while waiting for the train at the Third Avenue-138 Street station, he saw a man who he said appeared to be intoxicated stumble onto the tracks.”
“Demopoulos jumped onto the tracks, helped the man back onto the platform and then jumped up himself, making it off of the tracks as the oncoming train’s lights could be seen entering the station behind him,” WSN reported.
“C. Perkins, a train conductor and part-time security employee for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), witnessed the incident and took a video on her phone,” WSN reported, noting that “she said seeing people on the tracks is her ‘worst nightmare’ and said she yelled at the two men to get back onto the platform.”
“I am shocked still by the decency, concern, and genuine kindness that might lead one to risk such danger to help someone else,” Perkins told WSN, adding she “said that her partner considered detaining the man who fell onto the tracks, but that they decided against it.”
“After Demopoulos led the man to safety, Perkins said the student gave the man a bottle of water and comforted him,” WSN reported.
“None of the words I can think of do the situation justice,” she told WSN. “He saved, cared for, and went on to defend the man who put him in harm’s way.”
“Demopoulos said the MTA employees took his information but did not contact the New York City Police Department or take any further action,” WSN reported, adding that “he said he had a conversation with the man he saved who thanked him before making a joke and leaving.”
“It just seemed like the thing that a reasonable person had a responsibility to do,” Demopoulos told WSN.
“I wouldn’t call it a near-death experience,” he told the Cornell Chronicle, “but it was fairly sobering. Hearing about the event doesn’t really do it justice. Crazy things do happen.”
“Looking back, I’ve never been in a situation like that before – it’s the kind of thing you read about in the papers,” Demopoulos told the Chronicle. “I’m glad that my first reaction was to act and do something.”
Demopoulos is now applying to medical school and “comes from a family of Cornellians, including his mother, Dr. Jacqueline Ehrlich ’89, M.D. ’93; his father, Dr. Byron Demopoulos, M.D. ’91, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine; and his sister, Sage Demopoulos ’22, a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine,” the Chronicle reported.
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