Army vet says he’s ‘not a hero’ after NYC subway scuffle with naked man

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The good Samaritan who jumped onto Manhattan subway tracks to save a straphanger shoved by a deranged naked man is a disabled Army vet who insists he’s no hero — he was just trying to set an example for the teens he now mentors.

Tyler Horrell, 55, told The Post on Sunday that he leaped into action at the 110th Street/Lenox Avenue station Saturday when the nude attacker pushed a man onto the tracks, leaving the victim looking “lifeless” on the rail bed as a No. 3 train rounded the bend.

As other train riders screamed in horror, Horrell jumped down onto the tracks to try to help the victim to safety — prompting the stark-naked brute to leap after him, only to eventually hit the third rail and be fatally electrocuted.

Horrell — a Missouri native and disabled former serviceman who now works in youth services at the nonprofit United Settlement, where he mentors troubled youngsters — was remarkably humble about his actions.

“I’m not a hero,” he said. “The 12- to 18-year-old boys I work with, I try to teach them, ‘It’s not what you’ve done. You’re on probation. But you can be the change in the world you want there to be.’ I try to teach them they can be mentors.”

The straphanger was at the No. 2 and No. 3 station at Central Park North around 3:40 p.m. when the drama began to unfold.

He said there were about 25 people on the platform, some of whom he was told had witnessed the 35-year-old nut gyrating in front of a woman at the station minutes earlier.

Horrell said other straphangers started screaming when the crazy man shoved the stranger.

“Fortunately, I could see him laying on the track,” Horrell recalled of the victim. But “I didn’t think the train was going to be able to stop. He seemed lifeless.

“I jumped down and tried to pick him up,” he said. “In the course of trying to pick him up, the naked guy appeared, squatting on the platform, looking at me. I said, ‘Go on, man. Get out of here!’ I didn’t expect him to jump at me.”

“He didn’t say anything,” Horrell said of the deranged attacker. “He just tried to swing at me. I took a swing at him. He was on drugs or something. There’s a lot of drug use down in that subway.

“When he leaped at me, we both went to the ground,” Horrell said. “He didn’t even make a sound when he hit the rail. He didn’t make a sound the whole time.

“The close proximity I was to the third rail, a foot away, inches from his body,” he said. “Something jumped, emanated from him. I don’t know if I touched him or what. It came in through him into the middle finger on my right hand.

“He started smoking, and then you smell the stench,” Horrell said. “I’ve never smelled anything like it before. It was a putrid smell, the skin and, my goodness.”

The violent encounter left Horrell with a stiff shoulder — but both he and the stranger who was shoved escaped serious injury.

Their attacker — whose name is being withheld by The Post because his family has not been notified of his death — was pronounced dead at the scene.

Horrell said that despite the near-death ordeal, he feels for the crazy man and his family.

“Remember, the mentally ill guy, he has a family too,” he said. “They are getting a call this morning. It’s cold out. If he’s naked, something ain’t right.”

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