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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hero of the Day.

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Mr. Autrey's girls know their dad is a hero.

AP: NYC subway savior: Someone had to help
NEW YORK - Wesley Autrey said he made a quick decision to jump into a subway track to rescue a stranger from an ongoing train, an act he hopes other New Yorkers would follow.

"I did it out of a split-second reaction. And if I had to do it again, I probably would," he said on CBS' "The Early Show' Thursday. "I was like, 'Wow, I got to go get this guy ... somebody's gotta save this guy but I was the closest one.

"I'm still saying I'm not a hero ... 'cause I believe all New Yorkers should get into that type of mode," the 50-year-old construction worker said. "You should do the right thing."

Autrey's phone has been ringing off the hook since he helped the man on Tuesday by pushing him into a gap between the rails. Some callers were complete strangers so inspired by his bravery that they offered rewards.

Besides appearing on several morning television shows Thursday, he was set to tape an appearance on David Letterman's CBS "Late Show" and visit City Hall to be honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In hindsight, even Autrey was somewhat startled by his dramatic decision. But knowing he narrowly escaped injury or possibly death, he didn't regret his choice.

"I did something to save someone's life," he said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, while waiting for a downtown Manhattan train, Autrey saw Cameron Hollopeter, a 19-year-old film student, suffering from some kind of medical episode. After stumbling down the platform, Hollopeter, of Littleton, Mass., fell onto the tracks with a train on its way into the station.

Autrey, traveling with his two young daughters, knew he had to do something.

"If I let him stay there by himself, he's going to be dismembered," the Navy veteran remembered thinking.

Damn right he's a Vet!

He jumped down to the tracks, a few feet below platform level, and rolled with the young man into a drainage trough — cold, wet and more than a little unpleasant smelling — between the rails as the southbound No. 1 train came into the 137th Street/City College station.

The train's operator saw someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on. Some train cars passed over Autrey and Hollopeter with only a couple of inches to spare, but neither man suffered any harm from the incident.

Hollopeter was taken to a nearby hospital; Autrey refused medical attention — and then went to work.

Amen to that, Brother. That is what real men do.

Autrey went by the hospital Wednesday afternoon for a visit with Hollopeter and his family. Afterward, he and Hollopeter's father addressed reporters.

"Mr. Autrey's instinctive and unselfish act saved our son's life," Larry Hollopeter, his voice choking up, said Wednesday.

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Larry Hollopeter, left, with Wesley Autrey, who saved his son from a train on Tuesday.

The Old Gray Whore: Construction Worker One Day, Subway Hero the Next

Wesley Autrey teetered back and forth on the edge of a subway platform yesterday, re-enacting how he dived onto the tracks of a southbound No. 1 train in Manhattan on Tuesday to save another man’s life.

A little boy with black hair and a bowl cut followed each of his moves. Other passers-by at the 137th Street station let loose the occasional hurrah or hand clap. Still others riffled through newspapers, which featured Mr. Autrey’s picture and headlines like “Subway Superman.”

A few subway stops away, at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center on 114th street near Amsterdam Avenue, Cameron Hollopeter underwent a second day of medical evaluation. Police said Mr. Hollopeter, a first-year film student at the New York Film Academy, had suffered a seizure, which sent him convulsing off the platform and onto the tracks, where Mr. Autrey held him down as the train rumbled just inches above them.

Moments after the train came to a halt, Mr. Autrey recounted yesterday, Mr. Hollopeter asked if he was dead. “I said, ‘You are very much alive, but if you move you’ll kill the both of us.’ ” Both men emerged from the episode with little more than bruises, but Mr. Autrey also emerged a star.

Mr. Autrey, a 50-year-old construction worker, said he knew something was different when he showed up for work later on Tuesday. His boss, he said, bought him lunch — a ham-and-cheese hero — and later told him to take yesterday off.

Then yesterday morning, as he walked to his mother’s apartment in Harlem, “a stranger came up and put $10 in my hand,” he said. “People in my neighborhood were like, ‘Yo, I know this guy.’ ”

Once at his mother’s apartment, he held interviews in the living room with some of the national morning news programs.

After that, it was back to the scene, where he recounted Mr. Hollopeter’s backward tumble off the platform and into the path of the oncoming train.

Throughout the day, Mr. Autrey’s sister, Linda, 48, played the role of administrative assistant, logging invitations for the talk-show circuit, including requests from the David Letterman, Charlie Rose and Ellen DeGeneres shows. Phone calls from well-wishers came pouring in, including one from the mayor’s office. Mr. Autrey said he had been offered cash, trips and scholarships for his two daughters, Syshe, 4, and Shuqui, 6, who watched as he dived to the trackbed.

“Donald Trump’s got a check waiting on me,” he said. “They offered to mail it; I said, ‘No, I’d like to meet the Donald, so I can say, Yo, you’re fired.’ ”

By the end of the day, the president of the New York Film Academy, Jerry Sherlock, had personally handed him a $5,000 check.

Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Autrey and Mr. Hollopeter met again. The meeting was closed to reporters, but afterward Mr. Autrey described how he stepped into Mr. Hollopeter’s hospital room, where they shared a few laughs as Mr. Hollopeter’s father stood by with tears in his eyes.

Shortly after 4 p.m., Mr. Autrey walked out of the hospital with Mr. Hollopeter’s father, Larry, and into a throng of more than 30 reporters and camera operators who jammed microphones into their faces.

“This is Cameron’s father,” Mr. Autrey began. “He’s a very, very, nice, nice man and, you know, I’m not used to this press,” he said, as reporters shouted at them to lean closer to the microphones and camera shutters popped like party favors.

Mr. Hollopeter was nervous, his hands shaking, as he read from handwritten notes.

“Mr. Autrey’s instinctive and unselfish act —— ” Mr. Hollopeter said, hesitating, as reporters inched closer. “There are no words to properly express our gratitude and feelings for his actions. Cameron is recovering and stable. Now he needs his rest, and our wishes are that you respect his privacy. May God’s blessings be with Mr. Autrey and his family.”

The teary father then slipped back into the hospital, apparently overcome with emotion.

You must be joking. "Apparently"? Only in the AmericaLast media...

“Me and the families are trying to make some plans so his family can meet my family and we can have a little gathering,” Mr. Autrey said, before breaking into a hearty laugh. “Without the media!”

Mr. Autrey was asked to reflect on the experience.

“Maybe I was in the right place at the right time, and good things happen for good people,” Mr. Autrey said.

Then he hopped into his brother-in-law’s tan Toyota Corolla. As the car pulled away, Mr. Autrey had some final words: “All New Yorkers! If you see somebody in distress, go for it!”

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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