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.
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.