Isaiah Thompson, 23, was charged for allegedly activating the brakes of a 2 train amid a recent pattern of subway disruption
A suspect has been arrested in the case of the mysterious subway bandit who has wreaked havoc on New Yorkers rush-hour commutes by pulling train emergency brakes, causing delays and stranding riders at peak times.
New York City police announced the arrest of Isaiah Thompson, 23, of Brooklyn, on Friday morning. He was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing, after allegedly activating the brakes of a 2 train on Tuesday. (He is also charged with public lewdness for a separate incident of exposing himself to people on a train platform on 16 May.)
Though he was arrested for one incident, New York subway officials have said they suspect Thompson is connected to a broader pattern of train disruption in recent months, in which a so-called subway bandit has snarled already crowded train traffic by pulling emergency brakes. New York police said that the culprit has pulled about 40 emergency brakes since February, delaying hundreds of trains and thousands of riders.
The search for the brake-puller began in earnest on Tuesday night, after a series of rush-hour delays on Manhattans 2 and 3 lines led the subways administrative body, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), to publicly acknowledge the work of a repeat offender. Police did not say whether they think Thompson acted alone or as part of a group.
According to the transportation website Jalopnik, the bandit (or one of several), typically boarded a train between central Brooklyn and midtown Manhattan, then climbed on the trains rear as it departed, unlocking the safety chains and entering the rear cab to pull the trains emergency brakes. They then departed unseen, probably through the tunnels and an emergency exit.
The MTA chairman, Pat Foye, had previously called the culprits behavior disgusting and cowardly, and long unaddressed for fear of copycats.
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