A man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in the Bronx was forced to maneuver himself out of the way of an oncoming train, only to have his leg run over, leaving him lying inches from electrocution on the tracks, fire officials say.
FDNY paramedics described the desperate scene after they arrived at the 170th Street station in Mount Eden on Wednesday morning about 7 a.m.
“We had to get the man out as quickly as possible because he was bleeding profusely. His left leg was severely injured. We told him that he was going to be OK, to hang in there,” FDNY paramedic Daniel Jones said.
Police and fire officials say the suspect, believed to be in his mid-20s and last seen wearing a green jacket, fled the scene after pushing the man to the trackbed. The NYPD released an image of him late Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the 43-year-old victim fought for his life on the tracks as a train approached.
"The patient was able to get out of the way of the train, but he was not able to get his leg out in time," FDNY Lt. Julio Marrero said.
"He landed close to the third rail, was in and out of consciousness and was observed to be at serious risk of bleeding out...[paramedics] began to treat the patient while they were still on the tracks," he said. "He was lying right next to the third rail, inches away from being electrocuted."
A woman who witnessed the push told NBC 4 New York the man was still stuck on the tracks when police arrived.
"You could hear him say a couple of words -- 'my leg,'" said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. "The cops said, 'Everyone clear out.'"
The random attack snarled commutes for thousands at the start of the morning rush.
As police investigated, the MTA shut down service on the D line between 145th Street in Manhattan and Norwood-205th Street in the Bronx. Service on the B line was suspended between Bedford Park Boulevard in the Bronx and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn.
Service resumed after about half an hour, but D trains were running with delays and southbound B trains were running express from Tremont Avenue to 167th Street, the MTA said.
Customers were advised to take the No. 4 line making nearby station stops.
The 170th Street station remained closed Wednesday morning; a police officer standing guard outside a caution-taped entrance tried to help confused commuters find alternative routes.
Other riders expressed concern for their own safety.
"I always look around and see what's happening because I know there's a chance that something can always happen," said Blayre Robertson, who lives in Mount Eden.
"That could happen to anybody ...so it's scary," added Hector Heredia, another Mount Eden resident.