“Rikien Wilder’s actions to ensure this suspect could not repeat the heinous crime somewhere else likely saved the lives of fellow New Yorkers, something you cannot put a price on,” said Sarah Feinberg, New York City Transit Interim President. “With his birthday coming on October 1, the best way we could think to thank Rikein for his heroism is a year of free unlimited subway and bus rides.”
Rikien Wilder was at the 14th street station in New York on Sunday morning when he saw a man putting debris on the tracks to cause a derailment, according to a MTA press release. Wilder jumped down onto the track to grab the impediments just before the train arrived safely in the station, the release said.
But as he went to notify MTA personnel, Wilder saw the man once again putting debris on a track and causing a derailment, the release said. All 135 passengers on board that train disembarked without injuries, but emergency crews worked through the night to repair and replace hundreds of feet of damage, according to the release.
Wilder chased the suspect down as he attempted to flee the scene and held him until authorities arrived, the release said.
“While we don’t want members of the public placing themselves in danger by jumping onto the tracks, this brave Good Samaritan is a hero three times over — for removing debris, alerting personnel, and making sure the alleged perpetrator could not get away before police arrived,” said Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chairman and CEO. “He truly exemplifies the best of New York.”