Cop rescues man attempting to jump in front of L train at First Ave.

Feb26 L Train

By Sabina Mollot

A homeless man who tried to jump in front of an L train at 14th Street and First Avenue was rescued by a cop on Friday morning.

At around 9:30 a.m., Police Officer Carlos Guzman of Transit District 4 was patrolling the platform when he saw a man sitting at the edge of the platform. As he approached, the man attempted to lunge in front of the train as it was barreling into the station. He didn’t succeed, however, since Guzman managed to grab him and pull him safely onto the platform.

Police said the man, whose name wasn’t released, was 48 years old. He was taken by EMS to Beth Israel for evaluation.

Police Officer Carlos Guzman (NYPD photo)

Police Officer Carlos Guzman (NYPD photo)

Guzman, who’s been on the force for four and half years, told Town & Village that as soon as he saw the man sitting on the platform with his legs dangling over the edge, he made a beeline for him. “I didn’t know what his intentions were,” said Guzman. This soon became obvious though when the man attempted to place his palms down next to him in an effort to hoist himself up into a leaping position. When Guzman caught him, the man, who was shocked by the interference, struggled with the officer on the platform.

“He was determined. He tried to make his way back to the track,” said Guzman. “He said he wanted to kill himself. He kept repeating how he wanted to hit the third rail.”

With the train coming in, the man, who was a good 250 pounds and six feet tall, managed to break free from the officer, who’s around the same height. But not for long.

“At this time, I grabbed him by his shirt and managed to pull him all the way back,” Guzman said. Though he was still fighting the officer, Guzman said he was eventually able to pin the man down using his own weight and get the man’s hands behind his back so he couldn’t crawl away. Then he called for backup.

Interestingly, when the man made his attempted death leap, the station was filled with people. However, Guzman said he didn’t notice if anyone else saw him. “I was just trying to make sure he didn’t get into the track,” he said. “I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.”

Although the man did attempt to fight him, the NYPD won’t be pressing any assault charges. “Nobody was hurt,” said Guzman. The NYPD declined to comment on whether he has a criminal history and said information wasn’t available on if he was a resident at a local shelter.

Guzman added that he recommends that if any straphanger happens to see someone behaving like they might attempt to jump that they find a station employee. Even though there may not be a connection on most people’s cell phones in the subway, MTA employees have the ability to reach the police quickly.

TA: Yes, we’re still trying to go condo

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Chair Susan Steinberg, pictured at a June rally (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
Nearly four months after Stuyvesant Town tenants rallied on the steps of City Hall to demand a seat at the table and continued affordability in the event of a sale, the ST-PCV Tenants Association said on Monday that Mayor de Blasio has still not taken a position on the TA’s condo conversion plan. However, the TA said that it still believes its non-eviction plan is the best way to preserve affordability at ST/PCV and tenant protections and is still hoping to sway the mayor.

This was mentioned as one of several points in a notice the Tenants Association put online on its website on Monday. While there was nothing new regarding the ongoing talks with the mayor’s office, which are aimed at preserving affordability at roughly 6,000 apartments, Susan Steinberg, chair of the Tenants Association said the TA just wanted to let tenants know the effort is still ongoing.

“It takes so long for anything to happen,” said Steinberg, “and when things are slow we want to make sure people understand that it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.”

The notice follows many letters in this newspaper as well as countless comments made by tenants via blogs and social media speculating as to whether a conversion will ever take place and if it would even be able to pave the way for a return to stability in the community.
At this time, the TA admitted that there are still more questions than answers on the subject, and that its attorneys were also helping to explore alternative ideas.

Meanwhile, the TA noted its hope that CW and the city will “define the level and method of long-term affordability, including a potential conversion — before ST/PCV goes up for sale.”

“What we would define as affordable would depend to some degree on median income, what is considered middle class,” Steinberg said. “Three thousand for a one-bedroom, five thousand for a two bedroom is not affordable. I’m of the mind that affordable is not market rate, so a fireman could live here, a nurse could live here, a teacher could live here. Not five students crammed into a one-bedroom apartment.”

Reps for the mayor have previously said tax incentives or subsidies were a possible solution to keep affordable apartments affordable while also admitting there’s no turning back the clock for “Roberts” tenants and others paying the higher rents.

The TA also said in its release that it didn’t expect the recently filed litigation by Stuy Town’s lenders, represented by the hedge fund Centerbridge, to affect a sale other than possibly by slowing it down.

“We believe that Centerbridge is interested only in winning money damages from CW and not in owning the property,” the TA said. The TA also noted how in a recent report, CWCapital indicated that it would likely begin to “evaluate disposition alternatives toward the end of 2014/2015, subject to the ongoing litigation.”

Meanwhile, the TA realizes that in the event of a sale, Stuy Town will likely have other suitors besides the TA.

“I think that 80 acres in Manhattan is a magnet for probably all of the big name developers,” said Steinberg. “I’m sure all the big names in real estate are just eyeballing us.”

This week, Garodnick said he’s remained in frequent contact with de Blasio’s office as the financials of the property are examined.

“I am encouraged that the mayor is as engaged as he is,” said Garodnick. But, he added, “It is still very early in the process towards a resolution.”

De Blasio spokesperson Wiley Norvell, who confirmed the mayor hadn’t taken a position on a condo conversion, also said while the “good faith discussions” were ongoing, CW has said it wouldn’t take any action with regards to a sale.

A spokesperson for CWCapital declined to comment on the talks.