Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chad Lindsey, Everyday Hero

While all of us bloggers are caught up in reading other blogs, slumming for hits, and reading the latest headlines on Memeorandum or Hot Air, we sometimes miss the pleasures of just sitting back with a big-city newspaper.

I picked up hardcopies of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal this morning. I'm taking them to my classes in a few minutes, to have some examples for my students' writing assignments. But thumbing through the Times right now reminded me what's so great about old-fashioned newspaper reading.

It turns out that Chad Lindsey, a New York actor now currently working in the Off Broadway play, "Kasper Hauser," was waiting for the subway the other morning when another gentlemen rushed too quickly up to the edge of the subway platform, and fell down onto the tracks. The guy hit his head and was knocked unconscious, bleeding profusely. Check the story at the Times for the details, "
Leap to Track. Rescue Man. Clamber Up. Catch a Train":

On Monday, as he waited for the train, about 2:30 p.m., he was thinking ahead to the reading he was heading to. “I’m kind of zoned out, and I saw this guy come too quickly to the edge,” he said. “He stopped and kind of reeled around. I felt bad, because I couldn’t get close enough to grab his coat. He fell, and immediately hit his head on the rail and passed out.”

Mr. Lindsey said he sensed a train was approaching, because the platform was crowded. “I dropped my bag and jumped down there. I tried to wake him up,” he said. “He probably had a massive concussion at that point. I jumped down there and he just wouldn’t wake up, and he was bleeding all over the place.”

He looked back up at the people on the platform. “I yelled, ‘Contact the station agent and call the police!’ which I think is hilarious because I don’t think I ever said ‘station agent’ before in my life. What am I, on ‘24’?”

The man wouldn’t wake up, he said. “He was hunched over on his front. I grabbed him from behind, like under the armpits, and kind of got him over to the platform. It wasn’t very elegant. I just hoisted him up so his belly was on the platform. It’s kind of higher than you think it is.”

He stole a glance toward the dark subway tunnel that was becoming ominously less dark, with the glow on the tracks, familiar to all New Yorkers, signaling an approaching train.

“I couldn’t see the train coming, but I could see the light on the tracks, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of this hole.’ ”

He remembered the subway hero of 2007,
Wesley Autrey, who jumped on top of a man who was having a seizure on the tracks and held him down in the shallow trench between the rails as the subway passed over them. “I was like, ‘I am not doing that. We’ve got to get out of here.’ ”

People on the platform joined the effort. “Someone pulled him out, and I just jumped up out of there,” he said. With time to spare: “The train didn’t come for another 10 or 15 seconds or something.”

The man lay bleeding on the platform, and the police arrived. Mr. Lindsey soon got on another train. A large group of riders who had been on the platform entered the subway car with him, smiling and clapping him on the back and saying thank you.
Read the whole thing.

Lindsey's friends called the Times to identify him as the hero after the story first ran on
the City Room blog.

This is just a great portrait of one guy doing what any of us would and should do to help another citizen and fellow man, irrespective of partisanship, ideology, race, religion or any other quality that tends to divide us so much nowadays as Americans.