The doctor who rushed to the aid of a man thrown in front of a New York City subway train tried to console his family today by saying he was a "brave man" trying to protect other riders and that strangers tried to help the man in his last moments.
Dr. Laura Kaplan, a medical resident at Beth Israel Medical Center, issued her statement as police were questioning a man in connection with the case. Police said it was too soon to call the individual a suspect, or identify him as the mumbling man accused of throwing Ki-Suck Han onto the subway tracks on Monday.
Han, 58, tried to scramble back onto the platform, but was crushed by an oncoming train.
"I would like the family to know that many people in the station tried to help Mr. Han by alerting the subway personnel," Kaplan said.
"A security guard and I performed 3-4 minutes of chest compressions. I hope the family may find some comfort in knowing about the kindness of these good Samaritans, as they endure this terrible loss," she said.
The doctor praised Han, of Queens, N.Y., for his bravery during the incident, in which he confronted a man who had been mumbling to himself and apparently disturbing other passengers, according to ABC News affiliate WABC. Police told WABC that the suspect could be mentally disturbed.
Kaplan called Han "a brave man trying to protect other passengers that he did not know."
The suspect could be heard arguing with Han just moments before he hurled Han onto the tracks at the 49th Street and Seventh Avenue subway station, according to surveillance video released by the police. The suspect is heard telling the victim to stand in line and "wait for the R train."
After Han was thrown onto the tracks, the suspect fled from the station and Han tried to pull himself out of the subway track bed.
A freelance photographer for the New York Post was on the platform and said he ran towards the train flashing his camera hoping to alert the train to stop in time, but the train caught Han against the shoulder deep platform wall.
The photographer, R. Umar Abbasi, caught an eerie photo of Han with his head and arms above the platform and staring at the oncoming train.
Han was treated by EMS workers on the platform for traumatic arrest and rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Fire Department of New York.
Witnesses told cops that Han tried to climb back on to the subway platform, but was hit by the train before he could scramble to safety as other bystanders watched in horror.
"I just heard people yelling. The train came to an abrupt stop about three-quarters into the station and that's when I heard a man was hit by a train," Patrick Gomez told ABC News affiliate WABC.
Police set up a command post outside the train station Monday night searching nearby surveillance cameras to try and get a clear image of the suspect, reports WABC. They said Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing.
Police say the subway suspect is black, 5-feet-10 to 6-feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has dreadlocks and was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, a dark jacket and a cap.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.