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Army Veteran Recounts Deadly Encounter With Emotionally Disturbed Man Inside New York City Subway Station

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The good Samaritan who jumped into action after an emotionally disturbed person pushed another man on to train tracks in Harlem on Saturday spoke to CBS2 about the deadly encounter on Sunday.

Cellphone video captured the terrifying ordeal. A naked man who police say was emotionally disturbed approaches a stranger inside the 110th Street Central Park North subway station on Saturday afternoon. Unprovoked, he attacks the stranger before pushing him on to the tracks.

"You see the guy on the track and then you hear the noise. The train is coming," witness Tyler Horrell told CBS2's Kiran Dhillon.

MOREPolice: Man Dies After Allegedly Attacking Stranger In Harlem Subway Station, Jumping Onto Tracks

The 55-year-old was at the station and saw the push. As bystanders screamed to stop the oncoming train, the Army veteran jumped onto the tracks to help the victim.

That's when the naked man set his sights on Horrell.

"He takes a swing at me. I leaned back to avoid the punch. Then he just leaped off the platform at me," Horrell said.

The naked man then fell, hit the third rail and was electrocuted in the process.

"My hand is on the ground and I feel this jolt go right through my right middle finger," Horrell said. "I look at the guy and I see his body jerking."

Horrell and the man who was initially pushed both suffered minor injuries. They were taken to a hospital for treatment.

Horrell said he continues to relive the horrific encounter over and over again in his mind, adding it's difficult to even be around the subway station where it happened because it brings up so many difficult memories right now.

"To see someone die in that manner is just ... ugh ... it's something that I don't think you can really grasp unless you experience it," Horrell said.

Earlier this month, the interim president of New York City Transit asked Mayor Bill de Blasio to boost NYPD presence in the transit system, citing an increase in crime.

Horrell said he agrees that more needs to be done to help those struggling with mental illness.

"I feel sad because I'm sure this individual was loved by someone," he said.

Late Sunday night, the emotionally disturbed man was identified as 35-year-old Malik Jackson, according to his mother. She said he suffered from schizophrenia, had been off his medication for a month, and had not been receiving regular care because of the pandemic.

Horrell, a youth mentor, said he feels for the family.

"Just the way I was brought up, the person that God made me is to have compassion for people," Horrell said.

And to have the courage to help a stranger in his time of need.

CBS2 did not immediately receive an update on the man who was initially pushed on to the tracks.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report



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