Carnegie Hero Award goes to South Sider who saved man who fell on CTA’s third rail

Anthony Perry said he plans to put the $5,000 that comes with the award to good use.

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Anthony Perry

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

South Sider Anthony Perry is getting $5,000 for saving a man’s life this summer.

The reward is from the Carnegie Hero Fund, which is given to people who “enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.”

In June, Perry, 20, saved a man who’d been knocked off a 69th Street Red Line platform during a fight and fell unconscious onto the third rail.

Perry felt electricity course through his body the first two times he tried to lift the man off the tracks, but not on his third and successful attempt.

“It wasn’t a pleasant thing to watch,” he said of the man convulsing on the tracks. “I think I just reacted out of caring and loving instinct.”

Perry, who lives in Greater Grand Crossing, was uninjured, and the man survived.

“The man upstairs, God himself, was protecting me,” Perry said. “I wouldn’t be here today without him.”

Perry, a graduate of Richards High School in Oak Lawn, said he planned to use the $5,000 for auto repairs and clothes for his sisters and mother.

The Carnegie Hero Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1904. More than $44 million has been awarded in the 118 years since its creation.

The heroic act made headlines, and a cellphone video showing the good deed went viral.

Days after the incident, Perry received a separate reward in the form of a car — a used 2009 Audi — that was presented to him in a surprise ceremony by businessman and philanthropist Early Walker.

Perry said the vehicle developed mechanical problems, so he sold it and bought a used Chevrolet Trailblazer.

He depends on the car to get him to the Near West Side to attend emergency medical technician classes. Perry hopes to one day join the Chicago Fire Department.

A representative of the Carnegie Fund reached out to Perry through Facebook.

“I was skeptical at first, I’d never heard of them,” said Perry with a laugh.

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