A New Jersey Transit officer is being called a hero after he forcibly pulled a man out of the path of an oncoming train.
In CCTV footage, the officer identified as Victor Ortiz, is seen trying to get a man to move away from the train tracks. According to the authorities, Ortiz showed up to help the man after reports of him lying on the tracks at the terminal in Secaucus, New Jersey, on Aug. 26.
The man lying on the rail tracks seems to resist Ortiz’s attempts to help him, implying he might have been trying to take his own life. However, after a brief struggle, Ortiz was able to drag him off the drags.
“At that point he’s like, ‘I just want to die, I just want to die,'” Ortiz explained. “He pretty much went down on his knees and down on his arms. At that point I said, ‘You’re not going to die, you’re not going to die.'”
Seconds later, a high speed train is seen barreling down the tracks where the man had been lying.
When asked about the ordeal, Ortiz said he had no time to think and was just focused on saving the man’s life.
“I saw the train rapidly approaching an in an instant I said to myself, ‘I’m going to have to let this guy go because other he’s going to take me with him,'” Ortiz said. “It’s just a matter of seconds there. On the flip side, I said to myself, ‘Let me give one more tug on hopes I can pull him through.'”
NJ Transit said they were very proud of their officer’s heroic deed.
“NJ Transit could not be more proud of Victor Ortiz and of the New Jersey Transit Police Department and we hope this serves as a stark reminder of what these men and women do every single day to keep us safe throughout this state,” the agency said in a statement Sunday.
People who witnessed the exchange at the terminal were also filled with praises for the brave man.
“He struggled with it, too. He struggled with it. He was really trying to get him off and it was not easy,” said Tom Munzer of Rivervale, New Jersey. “He put his own life in danger right there. He put his own life in danger and he deserves a lot of recognition.”
Police have not released the man’s name or a motive for his being on the tracks.