LIRR service was suspended for an hour and a half during the evening rush hour after a “known panhandler” leapt from a slowly moving LIRR leaving Penn Station.
LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said the 35-year-old man was panhandling on the train around 3:18 p.m., and when he realized the train had left the platform, got between two cars and jumped to the tracks. He suffered a broken ankle, and might have been hit by the train, which was traveling at 5 mph.
His strategic jump — at the entrance to the East River tunnel — stalled all service in and out of Penn Station for the next hour and a half. Eastbound service returned with delays around 5 p.m.
The man, who has not been identified, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.
Arena said police blocked the entrances to the station to prevent overcrowding, and estimated tens of thousands of commuters were delayed.