Queens lawmaker praises South Ozone Park subway hero for saving Brooklyn grandfather’s life in Upper East Side shoving incident

subway hero receives citation
State Senator Joseph Addabbo presents South Ozone Park subway hero Pooran Mohabir with a citation for his bravery in rescuing a grandfather who was shoved to the track bed at at Upper East Side station.
Courtesy of Addabbo’s office

South Ozone Park resident Pooran Mohabir maintains he was just in the right place at the right time when he saved the life of a Brooklyn grandfather who was shoved off the platform of an Upper East Side subway station by an allegedly emotionally disturbed man just after midnight on Sept. 12.

The 33-year-old electrical foreman was doing overnight construction at the 68th Street-Hunter College subway station with his crew from RMD Electric, a subcontractor for the MTA when he heard shouts emanating from the platform. He dropped what he was doing and raced down from the mezzanine level and discovered 74-year-old Trevor Crawford down on the subway tracks with his head just inches from the electrified third rail.

Pooran MohabirCourtesy of Pooran Mohabir

“I saw the gentleman laying on the floor, on the tracks, so I went and helped him,” Mohabir recalled. “I pulled him up from the tracks. I didn’t jump down on the tracks, I laid on my belly and I pulled him up. The train was four minutes away.”

The subway hero pulled the victim to the platform.

“He was scared, he was bleeding all over,” Mohabir said. “He didn’t want to go to the hospital, but the cops got him to go.”

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Crawford to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was treated for multiple ribs, pelvic and spinal fractures. The victim was stabilized and listed in stable condition.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo presented Mohabir with a Senate citation at his Woodhaven district office on Sept. 18 during a gathering that included his wife Bibi Safi-Mohabir and his co-workers and union members from United Electrical Workers of America (UEWA) Local 363.

“Pooran Mohabir is a hero, a truly selfless individual who ran towards danger, motivated by instinct and protected by the training he received as part of his job,” Addabbo said. “He didn’t just save one life, but he affected so many around him by his actions — the victim’s family, the train conductor who could have hit the victim, any straphangers who might become fearful to ride a train again and his own family, because he could have perished while saving Mr. Crawford. It is only fitting that I honor Pooran today because it takes a very special person, a person whom we all hope would be around if we were ever in that situation. He is a role model for every citizen who has ever wondered whether he or she should get involved in helping someone or turn away.”

Derrick Mills, 39, of the Upper West Side, was taken into custody on Thursday, Sept. 14 and charged with assault. He had been seen talking to himself on the subway platform and became agitated when he saw Crawford glance at him and he allegedly shoved him to the track bed.

Police arrested 49-year-old Derrick Mills and charged him with assault for allegedly shoving 74-year-old Trevor Crawford to the tracks four minutes before a 6 train was scheduled to arrive. Photo by Dean Moses

Mohabir remembers seeing Mills heading for the stairs. There were only a few people at the subway station at the time and he was the only one to rescue the fallen grandfather, whom he stayed with until police arrived.

“I was just at the right place at the right time,” Mohabir said. “For me, I would do it again.”