Adams honors hero cops who rescued man from subway tracks on Thanksgiving

Mayor Eric Adams on Monday honored two heroic NYPD officers who rescued a man from the East Harlem subway tracks on Thanksgiving, deeming them the embodiment of valor among the department’s ranks as they leapt to the rails just ahead of an arriving 6 train.

“These officers are representative of how we’re going to fulfill our commitment and promise of regaining the safety in our subway system,” Hizzoner said of Officers Taufique Bokth and Brunel Victor Monday morning, at the 116th Street 6 train stop in East Harlem where the duo made the daring rescue. “They embody the values of courage, caring, and compassion.”

The boys in blue were patrolling the station Thursday afternoon — while many New Yorkers were stuffing themselves with turkey and mashed potatoes — when a man began to feel dizzy and fell to the northbound tracks.

Bokth and Victor, who were standing on the southbound side, bolted across the street and through emergency exits held open by waiting straphangers, and without hesitation hopped onto the tracks to assist the distressed man, whom officials say is homeless.

With the assistance of an anonymous Good Samaritan who had already descended to the trackbed, the officers grabbed the man and foisted him back onto the platform. The rescue crew were pulled up by other passengers and all were off the tracks just seconds before the arrival of a northbound 6 train. The man was removed to the hospital in stable condition.

“Heroism, courage, and compassion are second nature for the women and men of the NYPD,” said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell at the press conference, who posted the bodycam footage of the incident on Twitter last week. “Officers Victor and Bokth are certainly two such people who exemplify this. We are here to tell them thank you.”

The immediate aftermath of the rescue as captured on police bodycam footage.NYPD Bodycam Footage

The Good Samaritan did not stay at the station and remains unidentified but was nonetheless honored by the mayor as well. “Good Samaritan, if you’re watching this, we want to say thank you,” said Hizzoner. “You represent what’s best about our city. They showed us what makes New York City great.”

Adams credited last month’s “blue surge” of cops patrolling the subway system for the rescue: both officers from the 25th Precinct had already completed their normal tour of duty but were working a 4-hour overtime assignment at 116th Street. The mayor said that the initial goal of establishing an “omnipresence” of law enforcement to prevent crime and chaos in the system was the difference between a gruesome death underground and the daring rescue that actually took place.

“Officers Bokth and Victor were present at this station thanks to that initiative,” Adams said. “This directly resulted in them saving a New Yorker’s life.”

The state began paying for hundreds of additional NYPD overtime shifts daily after an exceptionally violent October on the subway system, which saw a 28% increase in felonies over the same period last year and was characterized by several headline-grabbing incidents of brutishness and chaos. In contrast, the mayor and MTA Chair Janno Lieber said that major crimes in November are down 13% compared to last year.

In addition, honchos argue that new measures implemented with the surge are increasing the perception of safety among riders, though customer feedback data for this month compared to last won’t be available for a few weeks. Subway riders are getting used to conductor announcements that NYPD officers are present in a station should they need assistance, and cops patrolling platforms have become a more consistent sight.

Cops have also stepped up enforcement against small-ball crimes like fare evasion, with summonses ticking up substantially since the surge despite long-held concerns by advocates about the racially disproportionate application of force.

Officers Victor and Bokth, who were presented with honorary proclamations by the mayor, said Monday that their rescue effort was instinctual, with priority number one being to ensure the safety of a fellow New Yorker.

“Our top priority…is to get the person to safety and worry about the rest later,” said Victor. “Which is what we did.”