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MTA train operator awarded for heroism after stopping Long Island City train from hitting passenger

Photos courtesy of Senator Liu's office

An MTA train operator who stopped a train and saved an Asian American man who was pushed onto the tracks in Long Island City was recently awarded for his act of heroism.

On May 28, Senators John Liu and Kevin Thomas presented the New York State Heroism Award to Floral Park resident Tobin Madathil, whose quick thinking led him to stopping the train at 21 Street−Queensbridge F Train. Just four days prior, an unidentified suspect pushed a 35-year-old Asian man onto the southbound train tracks at the same time Madathil’s train was arriving.

“All praise to the highest! I’m very grateful that the victim is alive today,” Madathil said. “I thank God for being with us on the platform that day to help us carry out his miracle. I am thankful for my fellow New Yorkers and the many good Samaritans that assisted me in performing this heroic act!”

Police said that passengers helped the man onto the platform and EMS transported him to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital, where he was treated for a deep cut to his forehead.

“Tobin’s quick thinking and resolute action not only saved the victim’s life, but gives a message of hope to all New Yorkers who have been enduring this long, dark COVID tunnel, and inspires all who bear witness to hateful attacks to be upstanders and not mere bystanders,” Liu said. “We applaud Tobin for the swift action and composure he demonstrated in saving a life, and am honored to present him with this recognition.”

Following the incident, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force began investigating it as a possible “bias incident.”

“TWU Local 100 is extremely proud of Train Operator Tobin Madathil. His bravery, skill set and passion represents the commitment that Tobin and his fellow transit workers have to their jobs and the riding public. We demand safety in the transit system for everyone. A life was saved, Tobin Madathil is a hero,” said Tony Utano, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100.

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