After a 58-year-old man fell onto subway tracks Saturday night in Manhattan, a ballet dancer, who had just watched his wife perform with American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House, leapt down after him. With a lift that they do not teach in dance school, he moved him to safety.
“At first I waited for somebody else to jump down there,” said Gray Davis, 31, a dancer with American Ballet Theater, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “People were screaming to get help. But nobody jumped down. So I jumped down.”
Once on the tracks, at the 72nd Street Broadway-Seventh Avenue station, Mr. Davis said, he picked up the man, who was unconscious, and lifted him to the platform, where others pulled him up. Then, hearing a train in the distance and unsure which track it was on, he faced the next problem: getting back up on the platform himself.
“I never realized how high it was,” he said. “Luckily, I’m a ballet dancer, so I swung my leg up.”
The police said the incident unfolded at around 11:20 p.m. on Saturday.
The man, who the police said was homeless and whose name was not released, was pushed onto the northbound tracks at the 72nd Street station by a woman who then fled on foot, witnesses told the police. Soon after, the police arrested Carolyn Mack, 23, of the Bronx, on an assault charge. (She told investigators she did not push the man.) He was knocked unconscious after hitting the tracks, but regained consciousness before he was taken to the hospital, the police said.
Mr. Davis, a native of Greenwood, S.C., who has been a member of the corps de ballet at Ballet Theater since 2007, was not dancing on Saturday because he was recovering from a herniated disk. But his wife, Cassandra Trenary, a soloist, had danced in both the matinee and the evening performances of “The Golden Cockerel” on Saturday, and they were leaving the theater, with his mother, when the incident unfurled.
They normally use the 66th Street station to go home from Lincoln Center, but there were service disruptions over the weekend that sent them to 72nd Street. As they waited on the downtown platform, Mr. Davis said, they watched in alarm as an altercation between a man and a woman on the uptown platform turned physical. The police said the two did not know each other but had been heard arguing. Ms. Trenary sent Mr. Davis to look for help.
When he went upstairs, he said, he found no one in the token booth, and he went down to the uptown platform just after the man had hit the tracks. Then, he said, he decided to jump down. It was only later that the danger sank in.
“It was really scary,” he said. “I don’t know if I had time to process it until I saw my wife coming down crying — then I realized it was scary.”
Ballet Theater plans to recognize his feat in the company’s morning class on Monday. That night, Mr. Davis is scheduled to get back onstage as a pirate in “Le Corsaire.”
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