CITY HALL — A father of three who risked his own life to save a stranger on a subway track was honored at City Hall on Wednesday for his daring rescue.
Dad Gregory A. Wetzel was waiting for the 1 train at the West 72nd Street station on May 20 when he noticed a crowd gathering at one end of the platform.
When Wetzel, who was with his three children, realized that a woman had fallen unconscious onto the tracks, he rushed to her aid. Jumping down onto the tracks, Wetzel hoisted the woman back onto the platform just 60 seconds before a train barreled into the station. The woman, whose name has not been released, was treated and released from Roosevelt Hospital after the incident.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn dubbed Wetzel a "real life New York hero" before handing him a plaque celebrating his heroism. "You remind us that there's heroes and angels living among us," said Quinn.
Wetzel, an aviation attorney who lives on the Upper West Side, received a proclamation honoring his heroism from City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side. "What he did embellishes the neighborhood," said Brewer. "Very few people would do this."
With his three children and wife flanking him Wetzel told the City Hall crowd that he was grateful for the unexpected honor and simply did what he did because it was "the right thing to do."
The 72nd Street subway station has seen several accidents this year. Three people were struck by trains at the station, which services the 1, 2 and 3 trains, over the course of several weeks in February and March.