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Posted: Jan 5 2007, 01:23 AM
Member No.: 331
Joined: 20-October 06
NEW YORK, Jan. 4 -- The act was beautiful and brave, and lucky.
A young film student suffered a seizure in a Harlem subway station Tuesday afternoon and toppled onto the tracks. Wesley Autrey, 50, a construction worker with two young daughters at his side, tried to tug him back onto the platform. But as a train approached, the student began to seize again, and Autrey jumped on top, pushing him into a foot-deep trough between the tracks and covering his body with his own.
Though the train braked, several cars ran over both men, passing just inches from Autrey's head, leaving grease marks on his powder-blue hat. Amazingly, they escaped with little more than scratches.
Then came the frenzy.
It took Autrey unawares. On Tuesday after the incident, he went home, stripped off his wet, stinking clothes, showered and went to work at a construction site in Brooklyn. His boss didn't believe his story at first, and then he bought Autrey a sandwich -- a hero.
Media crews soon descended on the site, and the making of a New York City hero began, with hypercompetitive tabloids and television stations, morning and late-night talk shows, and celebrity donors such as Donald Trump all vying for a piece.