Why did no one help man crushed by NYC subway train?
Dr. Keith Ablow weighs in
- Duration 6:47
- Date Dec 5, 2012
Dr. Keith Ablow weighs in
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
We'll outrage is growing today in the gruesome death of a man crushed by a speeding New York City Subway train.
New witness accounts reveal more than a dozen commuters stood by and watched as it happened.
First is the victim argued with the man who is said to have pushed him onto the tracks.
And that is the victim struggled to get back up on the platform.
Moments before his life was taken.
Folks asking now why why did no one try to help the man get off of the tracks.
In the time he had before he perished.
Here to help us with a possible explanation -- -- out -- psychiatrist and member of our Fox News medical eighteen -- welcome back to the program.
They -- get so there were about.
22 seconds they say.
From the time the man went down was pushed down.
Onto the tracks and the time he was hit by the train and -- folks are asking the photographer who took the photo of those last few moments.
And wondering about the people who stood on the platform and did not reach down.
And offer hands or anything.
To try to help -- your thoughts on.
Well people are known to not do very well when they're in a group.
And someone is called upon to be heroic we do less well as a group this bystander.
Effect which has been well known.
For decades since Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked.
And people heard her screams from apartments surrounding area where she was attacked.
Didn't come out.
Didn't even -- to call police in time and so we know that people act like -- chain.
Breaking a link up that chain is difficult because everybody's looking at everyone else.
Thinking that there must be some reservoir of knowledge about why no one's acting.
To declare oneself a leader.
And it -- heroic.
Is harder than you think in a moment of tragedy or conflict.
And it says something also about human beings and whether they're willing to raise their hands and disagree with the group.
We -- really reticent as human beings to do that and when -- is moving it feels like a group decision when it isn't that it's just the paralysis.
Of this bystander effect.
That's the thing the paralysis.
And they talk about this.
It was a book picking out a couple years ago about survivors and talked about how we think about -- an airplane goes down people would be -- dashing towards the exits you know they thought they had -- way of getting out.
But but the facts show the opposite the facts show normally people sit there.
In stone because that they've never dealt with the situation before they don't know what to do.
So are the critics being too hard on the people who were standing on a subway platform.
He just trying to catch train -- second in the next in -- life or death situation and watching a man who really was in a life or death situation in the next.
I think look that the critics may be tough on these folks because we know that this is an effect that exists psychologically but certainly human beings can aspire to better.
I think we have to at least look at these events and say look.
You know what don't just be like a piece of velcro -- -- the crowd because culturally insists societal leak this says it's tremendous.
If nobody will reach down.
To save a single man's life who is going to be crushed by oncoming train who among us will lead at times of desperate need.
In our nation for instance is gonna raise their hand to say I'll take the hit.
Here I'll do that let me -- -- to be done right now.
Let me ask you this the reports were that the victim here at the man had been pushed onto the train tracks was had been drinking.
And there's this altercation that he had between you know that the perpetrators -- and self.
And I don't know you know -- -- is in the New York -- city subway -- you know its its eyes down don't make eye contact don't talk.
State of the back and you CDs too loud gentleman having a confrontation and one I don't know whether he was visibly drunk or not.
Next second he's down on the tracks you'd have to worry a bit about.
Is he gonna pull me down there to I don't know who this -- -- what how we got down there exactly what just happened between those two guys.
Yes listen that doesn't help matters but we know from other circumstances that people walk by someone who's been hit on a -- on a busy street.
By a car they'll just keep walking if everybody else's so I think this is by the way teachable I think you can teach kids.
Whether in school or at home.
Don't do that so that they are prepared to act at times of need and and potentially to save a life.
Don't forget people also and this is a terrible commentary on where were rat technologically.
There are mostly moved to take pictures of this with their cell -- -- maybe that -- it up on FaceBook.
Well what I make of that is that we're lost in technology to dehumanizing influence.
The impact of reality TV and FaceBook and iphones is that we are essentially.
Ripped from the by earnings of our own real existence is and we become fictional characters.
And minor producers walking around chronicling a fake set of events when really real life is passing us by that's what's happening.
Into -- and the photographer.
Who said he was trying he claims that he was trying to use the flash on his camera to somehow alert the train driver whether he was actually doing that.
Or documenting the bit the -- now feels guilty about doing that.
I I don't know what the truth is.
But either way.
-- -- -- he'll -- -- I think he's a photographer.
Yeah look I mean if anybody he says first lawyers further away than the other people secondly he's a photographer you know.
If he is one that's what he does -- mean of all people he's moving toward the scene and it's this gripping.
You know that's what a photographer does he takes pictures a journalist he was there just -- but dispatched by a newspaper for another event but.
Least of all of all all people there would you expect him.
To break stride with everything he knows in his entire existence and suddenly throw his camera side and raced past everyone.
Many of whom -- you know closer than he.
Two to rescue this -- I think yes people being particularly tough and the image has value because otherwise we might not have been talking about it right now that people need to stand up.
Chad Lindsey is a guy who saw a man follow the tracks at Penn Station back in 2009 and he let down to help him and he -- come out defending this photographer saying.
That -- shot is misleading it's a still shot everything you think about those tracks is wrong it's it the death.
How massive they are how scary they are you don't realize.
What you know the danger that awaits you if you if you wanna jump down -- so he -- come to his defense.
And obviously be the only man really responsible for what has happened here is the man who push.
The victim doctor outlook thanks for being here.
Thank you -- and take care.