NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - Two months after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported a major surge in New York City subway crime, a woman was pushed onto the subway tracks -- but lived to tell.
The attack occurred at the Hunts Point Avenue station in the Bronx at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Patricia Villa said she feels very lucky to be alive -- and she has her friend to thank.
Villa told CBS 2's Emily Smith that a man grabbed her from behind without warning and threw her onto the tracks. "He pick up my head and throw me. He didn't push me, he throw me," Villa said.
The move launched her over the edge next to the electrified third rail, Smith reported. The impact knocked her unconscious momentarily.
When she came to, she heard people yelling "The train is coming.''
Villa credits her friend Luis Polanco with saving her life, calling him a hero. "I just saw the shadow and he grabbed her by the ears and twisted her and threw her onto the train tracks," Polanco said via a translator.
Polanco's first instinct was to chase down the suspect. But once he heard a train coming and screams for help, he came back to the track to help. "I heard my friend screaming 'help, help the train is coming,' so I let go of the guy," Polanco said.
Villa has staples in her head from a gash and is now walking with a cane.
Villa said she never got a look at her attacker and he is still on the loose. She said she's frightened the man will strike again, and knowing he's out there makes her think twice about ever taking the 6 train or any train, Smith reported.
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