A veteran NYPD detective has come forward to say he's the mystery rescuer of an elderly Long Island Rail Road rider who fell into a train gap Sunday night in Great Neck.
"It was a privilege to help and I'm glad he's okay," said Neil Hicks, a Great Neck resident who is also an NYPD detective in Manhattan.
Ben Goldman, 92, of Great Neck, suffered a slight concussion and a broken cheekbone in the LIRR fall. But from his hospital bed Tuesday, Goldman said his injuries could have been much worse if not for the actions of the mystery man who left the scene without identifying himself.
"He saved him. He never gave it a thought, never thought of his own safety or anything and he ran away!" Goldman's wife, Dorothy, said of the man who pulled her husband from the LIRR tracks.
Hicks came forward after an NBC New York news report aired at 6 p.m. Tuesday in which the Goldmans urged the rescuer to identify himself so they could thank him.
"Someone saves your life, you owe them something, at least a thank you, right?" said Dorothy Goldman.
According to Hicks, his wife saw the TV story and suggested he come forward. At first, Hicks said, he resisted, but ultimately, his wife persuaded him.
Hicks said he was returning from his job at Manhattan's 19th precinct when he saw Goldman fall into the gap on Sunday evening.
"Everyone was screaming," said Hicks. "I reached down and pulled him up. I was afraid the train was going to move with him under the tracks. That was my biggest concern. That's why I knew I had to get him up."
Once Goldman was safe on the train platform, Hicks, a father of three, said he simply went home.
"I am so thrilled you found him," said Dorothy Goldman, who still hopes to thank Hicks in person.
Hicks was at work Tuesday night and could not meet immediately with the Goldmans. Still, he was moved by their gratitude.
"Sometimes you don't get thanked, people are so busy," said Hicks. "But that's very nice. I appreciate that."