- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - An actor on his way to a reading jumped onto subway tracks to rescue a man who tumbled off a platform as a train approached.

“I just thought the guy fell down there and I needed to get him out of there,” said Chad Lindsey, 33.

The rescue happened Monday at busy Pennsylvania Station, where Lindsey was waiting for a train as he headed to a theater downtown. He said he saw a man who appeared drunk come very close to the platform, rock back and forth, then pitch headlong onto the tracks.

The man struck his head on the rail and began bleeding profusely, Lindsey said. He said he jumped down to the tracks and tried to rouse the man. When he didn’t respond, Lindsey lifted him under the arms and hoisted him onto the platform, with the help of others standing on the platform.

The rescue, first reported in The New York Times, lasted about 30 seconds, bringing Lindsey some instant _ and overwhelming _ publicity.

“I’m an actor. I’ve spent most of my life trying to get attention and then I do something that’s a no-brainer, and now I have more than I need,” he said Wednesday.

Lindsey stars in an off-Broadway musical, “Kaspar Hauser.” He said the role prepared him well for the emergency because he’s required in the play to repeatedly lift a character who can’t walk.

He said he could see the lights of the train approaching and about 15 seconds later _ after the man was safely on the platform _ the cars arrived in the station. Someone had already called 911. After giving police a quick report, Lindsey boarded the train, where passengers greeted him with applause.

Lindsey said he didn’t know if his newfound fame would boost his career.

“I really wasn’t thinking about that at the time. I really wasn’t thinking about it at all even afterward,” said Lindsey, who also works as a proofreader. “I sort of just did it and thought afterward, ‘Well, that’s just a pain, now I’m all dirty and bloody.’”

The injured man was treated at a hospital and released.

The rescue was reminiscent of another subway hero, Wesley Autrey, who in 2007 jumped on top of a man who had fallen onto the tracks after having a seizure. The train passed over the two of them.

Autrey, a construction worker, was awarded the city’s highest civilian honor and invited to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address.

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