Caught on camera: Man spits on, shoves woman onto train tracks in police-defunded NYC


NEW YORK CITY, NY – Video was recently captured of an attack that happened on a New York City subway reportedly involving a 28-year-old woman having to defend herself from a 24-year-old male assailant, who was seen on video shoving the woman onto the subway tracks.

The incident occurred on August 25th, where the female victim said she was at the Utica Avenue-Eastern Parkway station when she started being followed by a 24-year-old man, later identified as John Merritt:

“He was acting erratic and he started to spit at me, is how it started. When I tried to leave the situation, like get onto the train, he followed me. And I decided that wasn’t the smartest move, to get on the train where authorities cannot get to me and him.”

“So I stayed on the platform and he decided that it was the best idea to spit at me.”

On the northbound 3 and 4 platform, bystanders captured video of the portion of the altercation where the woman used a wet floor sign to defend herself from Merritt, where he disarmed the woman and then threw the sign at her.

After throwing the sign, Merritt can be seen rushing toward the woman and then shoving her so hard, she loses her footing while trailing backwards and falls onto the subway tracks.

The victim was able to get back onto the platform with the help of a nearby bystander, and she then got ahold of a broom and began swinging it at Merritt – which Merritt again was able to disarm her of:

“I think that I did fairly good with protecting myself and fending him off. And then allowing authorities to handle the situation.”

Apparently, Merritt tried fleeing the area after the attack, but the woman said police had arrived and were able to take him into custody:

“I was like nuh-uh. The cops were there when he tried to get on the train, and I was like, ‘He can’t go anywhere. He assaulted me.’”

Merritt was later charged with assault, menacing and harassment in relation to the incident. As for the victim, she said that her sustained injuries from the attack have posed difficulties with walking:

“I can’t walk. That’s the biggest injury right now. I have so many bruises on my legs, on my arms. I have a bruise on my face, and a cut on my face as well.”

Still, despite the injuries, the victim is thankful to be alive, considering how bad things could’ve turned out:

“I’m glad I was able to get pulled out of the train tracks, and before the train came. And I’m glad to be here today.”

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In other recent incidents taking place at the New York City subways, video captured the moments where an officer and a Good Samaritan helped get a man off the subway tracks who fell on them after having a medical episode. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in August. 


NEW YORK CITY, NY – Video was recently captured of an NYPD officer and a Good Samaritan coming to the aid of a 60-year-old man who fell onto the subway tracks after having a seizure.

What makes the rescue all the more heroic was that the unconscious man was saved by the two seconds before the train started coming down the tracks.

Video from the August 18th incident shows the man laid out on the tracks, later identified as 60-year-old Jessey Branch, while a crowd around the southbound 2/5 platform at the 149th street station was gasping in horror.

Four officers nearby heard the commotion, responding to the area where Branch fell and soon realizing the train was one minute away. Officer Lupen Lopez jumped down to the tracks, while other officers went to signal the train operator.

Looking back on the incident, Officer Lopez said it was training that kicked in once the situation was assessed:

“Without even thinking we all responded the way we were trained to.”

Officer Richardo Peguero commented on the signaling of the conductor during the incident:

“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.”

Branch was unconscious at the time after having fallen on the tracks due to his seizure. His recollection of the incident is somewhat fuzzy:

“I know I was standing against the wall, that was that. I know I wasn’t like leaning against the wall nothing like that.”

Officer Lopez was able to get Branch to regain consciousness, and a Good Samaritan jumped down on the tracks as well to help the officer lift Branch up to safety on the platform. By the time the officer and Good Samaritan were back on the platform as well, the train can be seen heading down the tracks.

Officer Lopez noted that there’s a “good feeling” that comes whenever community members come to help aid officers in such instances:

“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.”

NYPD Captain Gregory Mackie is proud of the work the officers did that day, saying that this incident affords a glimpse into what NYPD officers do on a “daily basis”:

“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.”

Branch – who is still hospitalized – said that he’s in a lot of pain following the seizure and fall, saying he sustained some broken bones but is thankful for being rescued:

“I’m sore. I broke a couple ribs and I broke a bone in my left arm. I feel very grateful that they were there to help me.”

Branch’s daughter, Nikita, is also grateful for Officer Lopez’s heroics that day when her father was in need:

“I thank that police officer. That was the nicest thing that somebody did for an elderly sickly man and if I was there I would’ve shook his hand.”

While Branch isn’t sure when he’ll be released from the hospital, he says that the first thing on his agenda when he’s discharged is to, “sit my behind down.”

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Where’s the media? Video shows NYPD transit officers rescue man who collapsed onto subway tracks

(Originally published May 19th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY -Two NYPD transit officers are being called heroes after they rescued a man who fell into the subway tracks in Manhattan while a train was pulling into the station. 

The incident occurred on Sunday, May 16th at the 14th Street A/C/E station. According to reports, a 31-year-old man suffered a medical episode of some kind, and fell onto the tracks.

Thankfully, officer Chris Cerny and officer Gary Lamour, who are ten year veterans of the force, were on the platform at the time, and jumped into action.

Officer Cerny said:

“Myself and Officer Lamour were doing a station inspection right downstairs,” 

He continued:

“We were alerted by the MTA booth clerk that an aided had fallen into the track bed on the northbound platform.”

The NYPD released the officers body camera footage on social media, which shows the man unconscious and lying in the track bed with the uptown train approaching.

Thanks to proper training, officer Lamour knew the correct way to use his flashlight to warn the conductor that they must stop the train. 

Officer Lamour said:

“You would have a flashlight and you signal from left to right, right to left,” 

He continued:

“Once the train conductor would see a light that’s going from left to right, that signals for the train to stop.”

Officer Lamour’s tactic worked, and both officers were able to assist the man, and eventually pulled him to safety, while risking their own lives in the process. 

NYPD officer Chris Cerny said:

“He was out of it. He wasn’t really all there. He didn’t offer any resistance. I think he knew why I was there, to, you know, obviously, help him. I was able to guide him … from the track bed to the platform,” 

This is a prime example of officers who acted quickly thanks to their training and dedication to the force, and were able to ultimately save a mans life. 

Officer Cerny said:

“I guess that’s when training and experience takes over,” 

He went on to say:

“And you have to do what you think is right.”

ABC7 reported that the man was taken to the hospital, and police attempts to make contact with him later were unsuccessful. Bit at last check, he was conscious, alert, and most importantly, alive. 
It is refreshing to hear a good story coming from the New York City Subway. Lately, the crime has skyrocketed, and the amount of violent incidents taking place almost daily in the subway is out of control. 

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