Detective expected to recover from head injury sustained in subway tunnel

Detective James Griffin ESU Sqd 1

Detective James Griffin ESU Sqd 1 (Credit: Detective James Griffin ESU Sqd 1 (DCPI))

An 18-year veteran of the NYPD was in stable condition Thursday after being knocked unconscious while saving an emotionally disturbed man from the Times Square subway tracks during rush hour that morning, cops said.

Det. James Griffin, 41, who worked Truck One in the Emergency Services Unit, was called to the station with his colleagues by transit cops to remove Richard Wilcox, 29, who had descended onto the tracks to pick up trash "because the tracks were dirty," said a police source.

After receiving a report that a person was on the tracks, the MTA shut down northbound and southbound service of the N, Q and R trains from 34th to 59th Sts. at 7:06 a.m., an MTA spokesman said.

After Wilcox refused requests to get off the tracks, Griffin descended with the ESU unit, a lieutenant from transit and another transit officer, but Wilcox refused to move to safety and resisted being moved. "It was a struggle. It's not a flat surface and when you're struggling you can be thrown off balance," said a police source. Griffin was knocked on to the tracks, cracking his head on a rail and bruising his arm in the melee. Fellow officers managed to subdue Wilcox and remove him and the injured Griffin from the tracks.

Both men were taken were taken to Bellevue Hospital.


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