The 5-year-old’s father died after he jumped in front of an oncoming train while holding on the little girl at the Kingsbridge Road Station.
Jairo Torres and Antonyo Love got on their hands and knees to help coax the 5-year-old out from under the subway.
They were recognized during a ceremony Wednesday at the Bronx county building.
Diaz said Torres and Love were like superheroes Batman and Robin for the way they acted.
“It is the true meaning of being a hero. They’re not asking for this attention. They don’t want the spotlight,” Diaz said.
Diaz presented both men with a certificate of merit.
“I want to say thank you everybody,” an emotional Torres said. “I never think about my life. I just always think about the baby. To rescue the baby. To protect the baby.”
“I’m so happy, not about this moment, not about this [certificate] I have in my hand, the only thing is the baby. She is good. She is still alive. Thank you God for that,” he said.
“I don’t even want to take the credit for it,” Love said. “I owe this man everything. I’m just at a loss for words right now for what I saw, anyways. I suffer from PTSD, so there’s a lot on me right now. I don’t know. I owe it all to him. He’s the hero. I was just there to accompany him, to help him out.”
“On behalf of 1.4 million Bronx New Yorkers, I want to say thank you,” Diaz said. “Antonyo Love, thank you for showing your love that day.”
Love dropped everything as he jumped in to help. His bag with his medication was taken from the platform. Diaz made a plea to anyone who might have taken the Knicks bag to return it.
While most everybody else watched in horror Monday, Torres jumped down to the tracks, and saw that the 45-year-old man was killed instantly. But then he saw the little girl was moving.
“She says ‘What happened to my daddy?’ I said ‘Don’t look at your daddy. Come to me. Crawl like a puppy,'” Torres said.
The girl crawled out, inch by inch. She was saved because the tiny girl fell flat in between the tracks, and stayed there. Torres placed her safely on the platform.
The girl’s mother, Niurka Caraballo, met the child at the hospital. Torres stopped by to make sure she was OK.
The girl returned home Monday evening in the arms of her godfather, suffering only some scrapes and bruises.
“My little girl is in perfect condition thanks to god and the angels that protected her,” Caraballo said. “Those living angels with my little girl. Thank you, thank you.”