Wesley Autrey was honored today at a ceremony inside City Hall. Here is the story courtesy of NY1:
The subway Samaritan was welcomed as a hero at City Hall today.
Wesley Autrey was greeted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, two days after saving a man who had fallen onto the tracks at the 137th Street station. Autrey was given a medal, 12 free unlimited ride Metrocards and a trip to Disneyworld.
He says while the honors are nice, he was just doing what anyone would have done.
“I wasn’t expecting any of this,” said Autrey. “The free ride for the whole year. I mean, I’m grateful for everything. I guess good things happen when you do good, and that’s what I’m saying. All New Yorkers, we need to do good.
Autrey’s also making the TV rounds, taping an appearance on the David Letterman Show.
Cameron Hollopeter, 20, suffered a seizure and when he fell off the platform. That’s when Autrey jumped into action, squeezing himself and Hollopeter into a small space between the rails, barely avoiding an oncoming train.
The Hollopeter family has nothing but thanks for Autrey. In a statement, they said Autrey is “a hero in every sense of the word, and truly a blessing from the Almighty. He deserves all of the attention and the accolades that are now being bestowed upon him.”
They say Cameron and Autrey had a very emotional and private meeting Wednesday.
The family says they are grateful to everyone near and far who have expressed their best wishes to Cameron.
Here is a longer story about today’s ceremony courtesy of 1010 Wins:
The construction worker who rescued a stranger from an oncoming subway train has become a national hero.
But Wesley Autrey doesn’t see it that way.
“I’m still saying I’m not a hero … ’cause I believe all New Yorkers should get into that type of mode,’’ he said on CBS’ “The Early Show’’ Thursday. “You should do the right thing.’’
On an interview that aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America’’: “I don’t want people to blow this out of proportion.’’
Nonetheless, Autrey’s phone has been ringing off the hook — some of the callers complete strangers so inspired by his bravery that they offered rewards. Autrey even got a call from Donald Trump’s people, offering a $10,000 check.
Besides appearing on several morning television shows Thursday, he was set to tape an appearance on David Letterman’s CBS “Late Show.’’
Around noon Thursday, he visited City Hall and was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg presented Autrey with “The Bronze Medallion” at City Hall Thursday — the city’s highest award for civic achievement.
He was also given 12 months worth of free Metro subway cards.
Quite the day for the 50-year-old construction worker and father of three.
It’s all hitting me now,’’ Wesley Autrey said Wednesday as he reflected on his risky rescue of a 19-year-old who had fallen onto a subway track as a train was approaching.
Looking back on his dramatic decision to jump onto to the tracks and push the young man into a gap between the rails, Autrey said he told himself, “Wow, you did something pretty stupid.’’
But even knowing that he narrowly escaped injury or potentially death, the 50-year-old Harlem construction worker doesn’t regret his choice.
“I did something to save someone’s life,’’ Autrey said.
Waiting for a downtown Manhattan train, he saw Cameron Hollopeter, a 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.
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.
Autrey went by the hospital on Wednesday afternoon for a visit with Hollopeter and his family. After, he and Hollopeter’s father addressed reporters.
“Mr. Autrey’s instinctive and unselfish act saved our son’s life,’’ dad Larry Hollopeter said, his voice choking up. “There are no words to properly express our gratitude and feelings for his actions.’’
The unusual rescue with its happy ending brought the media horde to Autrey. He spent the day doing interviews, mainly at his mother’s apartment, where his sister Linda had been pressed into service as phone answerer and scheduler.
Calls came in from all over the country, offering rewards, as people found themselves inspired by Autrey’s bravery.
His mother was beaming over him.
“It was dangerous, what he done, but I’m proud of him, that God had him in the right place at the right time so he could help somebody,’’ Mary Autrey said. “That’s our upbringing, helping people.’’
I am glad that Mayor Bloomberg held this ceremony today as the man deserved it. I know he doesn’t consider himself a hero but many would not have attempted what he did. I am glad to see he got some nice gifts & cash out of it. While I’m sure he wouldn’t ask for it, this is a case where he wouldn’t be wrong to have done so. However leave it to “The Donald” to get some PR out of the deal!
Wesley Autrey, you will always be a hero!