Then Steven Santiago comes along.
Santiago is the 39-year-old Stapleton resident who jumped in front of a Staten Island Railway train in New Dorp early Sunday morning, helping a drunk commuter named Jonathan Parisen get off the tracks. Parisen escaped, but Santiago was struck by the train, and his life now hangs in suspense while doctors wait for the swelling of his brain to go down.
Santiago also served two terms in state prison for drug-dealing convictions in 1995 and 2002, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Some of the Advance‘s reader’s are not happy the paper uncovered that background information.
“I am disgusted that SILive would start this article off with the poor mans mistakes in life,” a reader who calls herself ShamrockSheila said in the comments section.
But these revelations are not somehow a stain upon his heroics. Just the opposite. The point is that Steven Santiago was a brave man before, when and after he jumped on the tracks – no matter what else anyone thought of him.
A lot of people are hobbled by nonviolent felonies on their records. Santiago’s older brother Edwin told the Advance that the railway hero has been trying to rebuild his life and reconnect with his 13-year-old son – which means he’s been struggling. Actually, all of us are struggling. So imagine how it must have been for him.
Steven Santiago apparently deserved some credit long before he laid down his life for a stranger Sunday morning.