A Navy veteran is being hailed a hero after he sprang into action when he saw a man trying to jump from a Philadelphia subway platform, risking his own life to pull the man to safety, officials said.
A distressed man standing on the Race-Vine Station platform on the Broad Street Line contacted his wife saying he planned to kill himself by jumping onto the tracks about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, a spokesman with SEPTA told InsideEdition.com.
His wife rushed to the platform and tried to stop him from jumping, struggling with her much larger husband as he neared the edge, authorities said.
Calvin Wilson, 56, saw what was going on and immediately ran over from the northbound platform, pressing an emergency button to alert authorities as he rushed to help the woman.
“He was crying, he was distraught. He just had that look in his eyes, that something isn't right," Wilson told InsideEdition.com.
He had been on his way home from a doctor's appointment when he saw the couple struggling on the opposite platform.
"Something just came over me and I thought 'I have to get over there,'" Wilson said. "I ran up the stairs and came back down to the south(bound) side. I grabbed him and I said 'is it really worth it? What's wrong? Talk to me, talk to me.'"
Wilson, an eight-year military veteran who served several tours overseas while in the Navy, grabbed the man and they struggled.
Surveillance footage shows the pair as they went back and forth until Wilson was finally able to pin the man down. Emergency responders arrived and brought him for mental health assistance.
Authorities said that the emergency call button alerted the control center dispatcher and the power was shut off.
“He said 'get off of me, get off of me. I want to kill myself.' He kept crying. I got him up and we started tussling a bit. I turned him over on his back and held him down. About 45 seconds later SEPTA police came down," Wilson said.
"I didn't know this gentleman, he could have had a knife or a gun, he could have bit me. But I said to myself 'I'll deal with that if it happens.' He almost pulled me down with him but once I started pulling, I just didn't stop."
The man’s wife embraced Wilson, thanking him for saving her husband’s life, the footage shows.
"He's a Navy vet like me," he said. "That's what makes me feel good– he's a fellow brother. I'm just happy that he's okay. That was somebody's son, somebody's father. Just thinking something would happen, his kids would be devastated, his family would be devastated.
"If he had fallen down to the track, and I would have just stood there and watched it happen ... I didn't want that on my conscience."
Wilson said he and the man's wife plan to meet soon and he hopes to visit the man once he's allowed outside visitors at the hospital.
"We're probably both be crying of joy," he said with a laugh. "We'll be friends forever. I got new friends now."