Victim speaks out after fall onto tracks as train was pulling into station

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Friday, August 20, 2021
Victim speaks out after fall on tracks as train was pulling into station
CeFaan Kim spoke exclusively to the victim about the terrifying incident in the Bronx.

BRONX (WABC) -- When a sick straphanger lost consciousness and fell onto the subway tracks in the Bronx, NYPD transit officers didn't hesitate to jump into action.

Four officers on patrol heard the commotion on the platform and saw a man had fallen onto the tracks. The train was just one minute away.

"Without even thinking we all responded the way we were trained to," said Officer Lupen Lopez.

Lopez jumped onto the tracks while two other officers ran down the platform to signal the train operator.

"Anytime you want to get the attention of a conductor, you wave your flashlight left to right and they know that means to slow the train down and to stop," said Officer Richardo Peguero.

The 60-year-old victim, Jessey Branch, had a seizure while waiting on the southbound 2/5 platform Wednesday just before noon at the 149th street station.

"I know I was standing against the wall, that was that," Branch said. "I know I wasn't like leaning against the wall nothing like that."

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, Branch said the only thing he remembers was that he was heading to meet a friend. The next thing he knew he woke up on the way to the hospital.

The quick action of the officers saved his life.

"What they do exemplifies what New York City officers do on a daily basis, they help their communities and they genuinely love to create a bond between police and the public, in this case saving a life," said Capt. Gregory Mackie.

Lopez was able to get Branch up once he regained consciousness and a good Samaritan jumped down to help.

They lifted him back up while a fourth officer helped Lopez back in to the platform just as the train was pulling into the station and to the applause of riders waiting on the platform and watching in suspense.

"It's a good feeling because when community works with us and we have their support, and they see we're there to help them, great things can happen," Lopez said.

When he was asked how much pain he is in on a scale from 1-10, Branch said a 9.

"I'm sore. I broke a couple ribs and I broke a bone in my left arm," Branch said. "I feel very grateful that they were there to help me."

Branch isn't quite sure when he'll get to leave the hospital, but he says he already has plans: the first thing he will do when he leaves, he said, is "sit my behind down."

"I thank that police officer," his daughter Nikita Branch said. "That was the nicest thing that somebody did for an elderly sickly man and if I was there I would've shook his hand."

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