MTA honors officers who rescued man from tracks in Brooklyn
NYPD Police Officer Jason Macaluso received “Subway Hero” for assisting in the rescue of Suleiman Rifai with Detective Greco. MTA photo by Marc Hermann
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has honored two NYPD officers with “Subway Heroes” for rescuing a visually impaired man who fell from a subway platform.
Police Officer Jason Macaluso and Detective Henry Greco discovered 61-year-old Suleiman Rifai fell to the lanes facing each other on Wednesday May 18. Macaluso and Greco then quickly assisted him as an A train approached the station. The title awarded to Macaluso and Greco is the highest honor the MTA can bestow upon someone who is not an employee of the MTA.
“We first heard the train coming towards us, then we saw the light of a train coming,” Detective Greco said. “I waved my arms and used my flashlight to signal the train to slow it down.”
Officer Macaluso spoke to Rifai to guide him to the platform: “I felt he would be comforted by the sound of my voice and used it to guide him to us.”
The officers then grabbed Rifai, pulled him onto the platform and made him sit on a nearby bench.
“I want to thank the officers who rescued me last week,” Suleiman Rifai said.
“Without you, I would never be here today, so I’m so grateful that you were here at the right time. And when I heard your voices, I knew I would be fine. And I’m fine today and once again from the bottom of my heart, you are my friends for life for saving my life and I truly appreciate you.
Detective Greco and Officer Macaluso are Neighborhood Co-ordinating Officers, normally part of Police Service Area 2, but have been assigned to patrol the Grant Street Platform as part of the plan to Mayor Adams’ subway security who deploys officers from city neighborhoods to perform underground inspections at subway stations. .
“We’re harboring cops,” Officer Macaluso said. “Normally, we are in buildings going up and down stairs on patrol. We have no trains running towards us.
“They do a lot for the community,” said Jeffrey Maddrey, NYPD Housing Bureau Chief.
“They worked with young people when we used to run sports programs. Throughout the COVID pandemic, they have brought food trucks to the Brownsville community to serve those struggling with food insecurity. These two agents do a lot for the community. They go above and beyond the expectations of the community and they are truly heroes.