NYC subway train operator saves teen boy

Train operator Hopeton Kiffin, 51, of Brooklyn told The New York Daily News that he was just doing his job when he halted his train on Thursday and saved the boy.

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A 13-year-old boy is safe from harm, thanks to the quick actions of a New York subway operator who noticed the teen was standing too close to the rail at a Brooklyn station.

Train operator Hopeton Kiffin, 51, of Brooklyn told The New York Daily News that he was just doing his job when he halted his train on Thursday and saved the boy.

“It was just part of my job,” Kiffin told the newspaper. “I was trying to do what is right, and I’m a father and an uncle, so I felt protective of him. He was in a dangerous spot on the track.”

Through her tears, Jen Chapin, the boy’s mom, kept thanking Kiffin for saving her son, who had battled depression recently, according to Chapin.

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Kiffin said he noticed the teen as he drove the northbound No. 5 train past the Hoyt St. 2/3 local stop. According to Kiffin’s interview with The New York Daily News, the boy was standing between the express and local tracks when the conductor spotted him.

“I was on the express track going like 15 miles per hour when I saw a red jacket,” Kiffin told the newspaper. “I slowed down and saw someone on the platform and they were pointing. When I got close I saw the child.”

An alert commuter also told the station agent that he saw a boy between the tracks, in a dangerous spot. Police and transit officials were soon notified.

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Once Kiffin stopped the train, he hopped down to the tracks, and rescued the boy.

“He was non-responsive verbally,” Kiffin told The New York Daily News. “When I motioned him to come with me, he wasn’t responding. I took his arm. He stepped over the third rail and I got him on the train. He had left his book bag on the platform, so someone threw it to me.”

Kiffin took the boy to the next train stop, which was Brooklyn Borough Hall. Once there, police and his family members met up with him. Throughout the whole ordeal, the teen never spoke, Kiffin said.

The teen was treated at Brooklyn Hospital Center and then transferred to Brookdale Hospital, where he was picked up by his dad.

Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano said he is glad the story has a happy ending.

“This could have been a terrible tragedy if not for the alertness and professionalism of our train operator,” Utano told the newspaper. “You can never relax when you are operating a subway train. You have to be alert for anything out of the ordinary, and this story has a happy ending because this operator … managed to get him to safety.”