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15-Year Old Girl Pushed in Front of Subway, Saved; Suspect Caught

October 22, 1987 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 15-year-old girl was pushed in front of an oncoming subway Thursday, but a bystander yanked her to safety while two other people captured a suspect, authorities said.

Georgia Winston suffered only a twisted ankle in the incident that occurred while she was waiting on a Manhattan subway platform about 9:45 a.m., said Al O’Leary, a Transit Authority spokesman.

″I was ready to go to work, waiting for the train,″ said the man who saved her, Richard Johnson-Ayuso of Manhattan. Suddenly, he saw a man place two hands on Miss Winston’s back and shove her onto the tracks about four feet below.

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″Everything happened fast,″ Johnson-Ayuso said. ″The train was coming. It was in the tunnel. She was crying and she was looking into my eyes and I was looking into her eyes - very scared. The last time I saw her she was still crying.″

He said she had gotten up onto her knees and was thrashing her arms around and screaming.

″I stopped, dropped on my belly and reached down and picked her up by her hair and the back of her jacket,″ said Johnson-Ayuso, 26, of Manhattan, a security guard for Elite Investigators.

″That was the only way to get her. I didn’t have time. If I had jumped down to push her up it would have been me under the train,″ he said.

Ronald Christopher, 21, of the Bronx, was chased down by two other bystanders and later charged with attempted murder and second-degree assault, O’Leary said. Police said there was no known motive.

Miss Winston, a high school student, was ″rather shook up″ and declined to talk to reporters, said Sgt. James Ludwith.

Peter O’Callaghan, 39, who was on his way to apply for an electrician’s job at the TA, said he also saw the girl pushed. He said Johnson-Ayuso told him that he would get the girl if O’Callaghan would chase the suspect, who ran down the platform, up a staircase and headed for an exit door, which was locked.

″He turned around and lunged at me and pushed me down the stairs. I fell about three steps,″ O’Callaghan said. When he got up, Johnson-Ayuso had joined the chase, along with Allen Glick, 26, of Orange, N.J., a photo technician at Quality Color Labs.

″They grabbed him and pushed him against the token booth,″ O’Callaghan said. ″I yelled to the clerk to call police. Out of nowhere a lot of plainclothes men from the anti-crime unit or somewhere, appeared. He resisted arrest but they apprehended him.″