NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was thankful to be alive on Monday, after he was almost pushed over the tracks as a train was coming in.

There were terrifying, life saving moments that unfolded on a Park Place train platform.

“If it wasn’t for the guy next to me, I’d be dead right now — no doubt,” Ian Weiss said, speaking exclusively with CBS2’s Erin Logan.

Weiss said it all unfolded on Friday afternoon, as he read a book and waited for the train.

“I was pulled backward. I felt pressure from somebody grabbing me,” he said.

That’s when a stranger — Rajesh Barua — came to the rescue.

“It really was an impulse thing,” Barua said.

“The guy had me in a bear hug and took both of us down, and I just got up, and he said, ‘he just tried to throw you onto the tracks,” Weiss recalled.

“We were just kind of standing over the guy, and he said ‘thank you, you’re a hero,’ he hugged me,” Barua added.

Even though it all happened quickly, Barua said the man was making strange gestures indicating that he was about to do something.

“The train started coming, and it was pretty close, and he was like pushing him over,” he said.

Edward McColley was arrested. He’s served time in the past and has been arrested 126 times.

“I guess it’s not surprising, he seemed mentally ill,” Barua said.

Both men said he just laid there, not saying a word as they waited for police to arrive.

“This does happen more often than people think. It’s not a common occurrence, but just be aware,” he said.