NEW YORK (WPIX)—Victim or instigator?
Either way, a man miraculously survived when his head made contact with the third rail after being shoved off the crowded platform of a Brooklyn subway station, PIX11 News has learned.
The incident began when the man -- police sources identify as 44-year-old Andy Morris -- got into a verbal argument with another passenger while on a Queens-bound A train Monday night. Morris got off the train at the Broadway Junction station in Bedford-Stuyvesant around 11:30 p.m. where the argument continued onto the subway platform.
Marlon Probherbs, a man who witnessed the entire incident, told PIX 11 News, Morris was as much an instigator as he was victim. Probherbs exited the A train along with the arguing men. He says the 44-year-old man took a couple swings at a much younger and smaller man. In self-defense, the young man pushed the aggressor, according to Probherbs.
Witness tell investigators Morris was intoxicated and arguing with a younger man. In addition, at one point they claim, either the younger man or yet a third man shoved Morris onto the tracks, ultimately causing him to smack his head on the live third rail which carries 625 volts.
Smoke emerged from Morris' face and his body twitched violently. Witnesses who saw the entire incident told PIX 11 News they were certain he was killed.
Police sources say two civilians were climbing down onto the tracks when the first officer to arrive at the scene ordered them out for their own safety so electricity could be cut off to the area. Morris was reportedly unconscious and unresponsive when first removed, but he was still breathing.
Initially rushed to Brookdale University Hospital, Morries was later transferred to the Burn Center at Staten Island University Hospital. Doctors say he is expected to survive
Police have several witnesses to the case, and are still looking for the suspects who were involved in the altercation with Morris. In addition, authorities are investigating exactly how the events unfolded.
All A train service was suspended from roughly 11:30 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. because of the fight, according to an MTA spokesman.