Braking the A Train

I was on the way home from wandering around downtown tonight, and I got on the A train heading uptown from 42nd Street. It was late enough I got a seat, so I was happily sitting there reading a book, not paying attention. We were getting near my neighborhood when after leaving 181st Street the train came to a stop.

Just a regular stop, mind you. I didn't think anything until I heard someone screaming "Please can anybody help me?" Everyone on the train started looking around, wondering which car the person freaking out was on, until it dawned on us that it sounded like the voice was coming from under the train. Someone opened the door a crack and we could definitely hear the voice coming from outside. I was standing near the end of the train at this point, near the side door that was open a gap, and I turned around and pulled the emergency brake cable.

I've always wanted to do that.

Someone (I later found out, a former MTA subway driver) popped open the vent window and yelled out at the guy to stay put and not to touch anything. Eventually we could see flashlights outside, and then all but the dim center lights went out as power was removed. The fire department showed up, and the guy was removed, a bit scraped up, but in one piece (apparently — I couldn't see, but someone else in the car could).

The only funny part (and there was a funny part) was while we were waiting someone on the other end of our car, who sounded a bit tipsy, started yelling "Fuck him.", to the point where I really wanted to punch him. He was still going on when two Transit cops came in the storm door on his end of the car, he blurted out "Oh shit!" and the whole car burst out laughing.

The cops asked if anyone saw what happened, we said we just heard, and I said I pulled the cord. One of the cops took my info (I'm guessing they have to fill out a report every time one of those gets pulled), thanked me, and they left. Eventually the power came back on, the driver came back to reset the emergency brake, and they dropped us off at 190th.

Moral of the story: when those signs say Do Not Enter Or Cross Tracks, they mean it.