‘I’m not going to keep walking:’ CTA train rider jumped down to help man who fell onto third rail and got shocked
CHICAGO (CBS) — A CTA train rider didn’t think twice about jumping onto the tracks to save a man being shocked on the third rail.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Tuesday night, the Good Samaritan wasn’t just going to watch the man die. He said he had to help him – even if it meant risking his own life.
To say Tony Perry walks by his faith may be an understatement.
“It’s about being selfless and spreading love,” Perry said.
This week, as Perry exited the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line train at the 69th Street station along the Dan Ryan Expressway, he spotted trouble.
“I immediately noticed there was a fight,” he said, “because both guys got their dukes up – they were like putting their stuff down.”
Viral cellphone video shows the fight between two men after it spilled down onto the tracks in front of the stopped ‘L’ train on Sunday afternoon.
Police said one of the men was on the platform waiting for a train, when the other came up and spat on him and started a fight – punching him in the mouth.
During the fight, both men fell onto the tracks – where they kept fighting, police said.
The first man was burned on his left leg and suffered abrasions to his mouth, and was hospitalized in good condition. But the man who police say started the fight ended up on the third rail – which sent 600 volts of electric shocks through him.
“The guy didn’t have no control over his body,” Perry said.
While everyone screamed for help and recorded, Perry jumped onto the active tracks.
“I did hear somebody say as I got on the track, ‘Don’t touch him!'”
But remember Perry’s faith. He says it kept him from watching from the platform.
“I could’ve kept walking, but I was like, you know what? I’m not going to keep walking – because God wouldn’t want me to do that,” he said, “so I took action immediately.”
And with his own life in danger, Perry tried removing the man from the dangerous third rail.
“I’m a high knee over and I just know: ‘Don’t touch the rail! Don’t touch the rail!'” he said. “Otherwise, I’ll get shocked too.”
Perry recalls getting a jolt when he touched the man.
“It was strong – like it went through my whole body,” Perry said. “I remember after that, my whole body was still kind of shaky.”
Terry asked Perry what goes through his mind upon reflecting on his actions.
“I was kind of like, dang – I did that? That was me? I was kind of surprised that I would take myself to that level,” Perry said. “But I’m kind of not surprised, because I’m always helping people. That’s my instinct.”
The 20-year-old believes God placed him on the Red Line at that moment.
“I was thinking about, if that was me in that situation, how would I want people to treat me?” Perry said. “I’m just happy that the guy was alive, more than anything. I didn’t see myself as a hero, to be honest.”
It was a very serious situation – even for Perry, who wanted to help. Those 600 volts on the third rail can be deadly.
The man who suffered the severe electric shock on the third rail was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Police said he remained in serious condition Tuesday night.