Author Topic: Props to Chad Lindsey  (Read 168 times)


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Props to Chad Lindsey
« on: March 18, 2009, 11:30:32 AM »

(Chad Lindsey, 33, near the subway tracks where he lifted an injured man to safety as a train approached on Monday. Then he went on his way.)

Subway heroes, as they are inevitably tagged even before the grease from the tracks is rubbed off, come along every now and then — indeed, as the story of Chad Lindsey suggests, perhaps more often than we know.

Minutes after rescuing a man who had fallen onto the subway tracks at the Penn Station stop on Monday, Mr. Lindsey managed to melt back into the anonymity of the city, escaping the notice of the police, paramedics and subway workers.

“I’m of many minds of being in the spotlight,” he said after a call from this reporter, whose short account of the accident on The New York Times’s City Room blog on Monday prompted one of Mr. Lindsey’s friends to disclose his identity on Tuesday. “But what the hey,” he said.

Mr. Lindsey, 33, is from Harbor Springs, Mich. He moved to New York City three years ago and settled in Woodside, Queens.

He can take it from there:

“I was waiting for the C,” he said from his office on West 30th Street, where he works as a proofreader. “I’m an actor — shocker.”

He said almost everyone seems to be an aspiring actor nowadays, but in this case, it is a critical point to the story: Mr. Lindsey currently appears in an Off Broadway show called “Kasper Hauser,” in a role that requires him to repeatedly lift a character who cannot walk.

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.

“Then I sort of freaked out, and I was nervous and shaky. These five women opened their purses and gave me Handi-Wipes. I was covered in blood and dirt from the subway tracks.”

The fallen man was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan and was later released.

The police identified him late Tuesday afternoon as Theodore Larson, 60, of the Bronx.

Mr. Lindsey, of course, never learned the man’s name. His story told, he said goodbye, adding, “It was quite a New York day.”