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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Man Jumps Onto Blue Line Tracks To Rescue Fallen Rider: ‘It Was A No-Brainer, Just-Do-It Situation’

Jessie Contreras, 36, said he didn't even look to see if a train was coming when he sprung into action.

Jessie Contreras aids the man he helped off the "L" tracks.
Courtesy Jessie Contreras
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LOGAN SQUARE — A commute to work Monday afternoon turned harrowing for 36-year-old Jessie Contreras, who jumped onto the train tracks to save a fallen man at the Logan Square Blue Line platform.

The dramatic rescue unfolded at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, according to police and Contreras.

Contreras was standing in the middle of the platform with his coworker, on his way to Tailor Men’s Salon where he works as a barber, when he heard a loud “thud.”

A man, who appeared to be around Contreras’ age, had fallen backwards onto the tracks. Contreras immediately ran toward the man and, Contreras said, without checking for an oncoming train, jumped onto the tracks to save him.

He pulled the man up by his jacket lapel and managed to get him to the edge of the platform. The man was unconscious. Other commuters and Contreras’ co-worker then rushed to pull the man to safety.

Contreras and his co-worker stayed with the man until the paramedics arrived. The man had split open his ear and had little sense of where he was or what was going on, but was eventually able to walk on his own, according to Contreras.

Contreras couldn’t say whether a train arrived immediately after he saved the man because he was focused on making sure the man was OK, but Blue Line trains typically arrive every few minutes.

“I believe wholeheartedly in a god. For me, it was just a no-brainer, just-do-it kind of situation,” Contreras said.

“The consequences would be determined by someone who was bigger than me, to be honest. I would hope other people with a similar mindset would do the same thing.”

The man was taken to Norwegian Hospital, where he has since been released, according to Officer Michael Carroll, a Chicago Police spokesman. 

Carroll described the man as 32 years old and “under some type of influence at the time of the incident.”

Hours after the rescue, as Contreras settled into work, the reality of what had happened began to set in.

“There was a definitely a couple of times where I had to step away and sit in our bathroom at work. I cried a little bit and got emotional. … It was a lot,” Contreras said.

CBS Chicago was first to report the story.