NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Transit officials and police are on the hunt for suspects accused of a string of dangerous stunts that continue to cripple the New York City subway system.
“This is stupid, it’s dangerous, it’s selfish, and it’s got to stop,” New York City Transit Authority president Andy Byford said during an MTA board meeting.
Subway chief Andy Byford doesn’t know who’s doing this (or why) but he believes that since January, someone has been pulling the emergency brakes located in locked back operating cabs of trains.
The Transit Authority chief also said the troublemaker(s) then sometimes surf on the back of the subway before jumping onto the tracks and onto another train.
“It’s a double whammy because not only do you put the trains into emergency, the trains brakes go into emergency, so the trains stopped. They’re there running along the tracks so we have to take the power off to find these idiots,” Byford explained.
“It’s very selfish for them to do this because the repercussions for those of us delayed, especially if you have to get somewhere, is unfortunate,” commuter Kim Andrews said.
A woman took video of a man riding the back of a Q train in Brooklyn last month and said he jumped on the back and broke inside.
“There’s no evidence doors have been forced, so we’re pretty certain these people have keys and that’s extremely disturbing,” Byford claimed.
“This is life or death stuff involving really complicated, dangerous machinery that could endanger the lives of transit workers just doing their jobs and our customers – it’s serious,” new MTA chairman Pat Foye added.
Police are investigating the pattern as a reckless endangerment case. The subway chief said that isn’t enough.
“It poses a danger and risk to people any time you’re disrupting, so we’ll investigate accordingly and go from there to determine motive,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.
“I’d love to be able to catch these people, for them to face consequences to their actions, and I’d like to ban them from the subway. Right now, we don’t have that power… we’re actively seeking it,” Byford declared.