A Toronto Transit Commission worker is being commended for his empathy toward a distressed man who walked onto the subway tracks on Wednesday.
A station collector was working at a Dundas station fare gate when a man walked off the platform around 10:30 a.m., the TTC told CP24.
The worker, who the TTC identified as J.P. Attard, asked the janitor to cut power to the station, TTC Group Station Manager Ellen Stassen told Global News. Then he immediately went over to the man, who was sitting on the tracks, to coax him to stand up and walk towards him.
Attard told the man he was loved and that he wanted to be his friend, Stassen told the Toronto Sun, saying Attard went "above and beyond" his training.
A Toronto subway station.
"He just kept talking to him, and said, ‘Breathe in; breathe out’ and ‘Look me in my eye,'" witness Jeffrey Ribeiro told CityNews.
In a video Ribeiro posted to Twitter, the man holds onto Attard as the TTC worker appears to take a picture of him making a peace sign.
"He had him say, ‘I am strong’ more or less five to seven times and then he turned behind to where we were all standing and he’s like, ‘Everybody join in, let’s show him some support," Ribeiro told Global News.
"I am just proud that we live in a city where people are ready to help and that they help wherever they can and in whatever way we can."
When Attard convinced the man to come up from the platform, he gave him a hug, Ribeiro told CityNews, and said he wanted to give him his number.
Paramedics and police took over once the man was back on the platform, the TTC told CP24.
Toronto Mayor John Tory praised Attard at a city council meeting Wednesday.
"I am just proud that we live in a city where people are ready to help and that they help wherever they can and in whatever way we can," he said.
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