SECAUCUS - A New Jersey Transit police officer pulled a man to safety just seconds before a train passed through at Secaucus Junction.
The incident happened Friday morning.
The police report says there was a report of a confrontation at the station. New Jersey Transit Police Officer Victor Ortiz, a 16-year veteran of the force, approached the man, who was identified as Alan Jefferson, 56, of Elizabeth.
Following a short conversation, Jefferson was lying on the track in the path of the oncoming train and refusing to move. He reportedly told Ortiz that he wanted to die.
As the train started to come, the officer began pulling Jefferson off of the tracks.
“All the time I'm pulling him and pulling, I'm saying to myself, ‘I'm not going to be able to do this,’" Ortiz said.
Ortiz struggled with Jefferson and pulled him to safety only two seconds before a commuter train pulled into the station.
“In my mind I said this is going to be my last pull, if I can't get him I have no choice but to just let go."
NJ Transit says Ortiz's actions demonstrated a level of bravery and a true sense of compassion that often goes unrecognized.
Jefferson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault of a police officer and resisting arrest, among other charges. He appeared in court Monday afternoon. His bail was set at $15,000.
Jefferson has 11 prior arrests, according to the court proceedings.