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Exclusive: Brooklyn Subway Shove Victim Tells Of Harrowing Ordeal, Says Empathy Needed For People With Mental Illness

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man who got pushed off a subway platform in Brooklyn is talking about his terrifying experience.

The incident was the latest in several recent unprovoked subway shoves that have commuters on edge, CBS2's Christina Fan reported Monday.

MORESeen On Video: Another Subway Rider Pushed Onto Tracks At Brooklyn Station

Ryan Schoenherr is the man seen on video getting shoved onto the Atlantic Avenue subway tracks by a complete stranger.

Speaking with CBS2 exclusively a day later, he said he is relieved to have walked away unscathed after hearing similar attacks on other riders.

"It happened all so fast, I think the fear sort of happened after. Looking at those videos and being like, oh, I could have gotten really hurt," Schoenherr said.


He was on the 4 train Sunday with his girlfriend headed uptown when he said a homeless man woke up and began screaming at him.

Schoenherr said he got off, hoping to switch cars, but the man followed him, blocking him at every turn.

MOREPushes, Punches, Slashings: With Violence Getting Out Of Control On NYC Subways, Guardian Angels Step Up To Patrol

Schoenherr said he eventually decided to leave the station and that's when the man pushed him.

"I just hope that doesn't happen to someone who is more elderly, or somebody who would have a harder time getting off those tracks," Schoenherr said.

In the past week there have been two other similar attacks. On Thursday, a homeless man shoved a woman into the path of an oncoming train. The day before, a man was shoved off the platform at Bryant Park.

Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the unsettling trend on Monday.

"The NYPD is going to be increasing its presence in the subways. That will be very visible. We continue to expand our mental health efforts," de Blasio said.

Fan pressed the city for specifics, but was only told officers would be added to high-traffic subway stations.

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Metropolitan Transportation Authority Interim President Sarah Feinberg issued the following statement:

"We have got folks in this city who desperately need mental health care. The transit system is for people who are using it to travel. MTA and NYC Transit, our personnel are out there in the system, we are doing our best to make sure the commuters, New Yorkers, are safe," Feinberg said. "We have a crisis in this city with mentally ill people who need help, and it absolutely needs to be addressed, and I'm desperate for this mayor or the next mayor to take it on because we've got a long way to go."

Schoenherr agrees.

"I'm hoping the city can approach this issue with empathy and making sure it is treated in a humane way," he said.

Schoenherr said that would mean help instead of jail time for the man who shoved him.

Early Tuesday morning, police arrested 33-year-old Michael Medlock in the case. He was charged with attempted assault, reckless endangerment and menacing.

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