New York City has caught an alleged subway bandit who delayed more than 700 trains by pulling the emergency brake


If there’s one thing that can bring New Yorkers together, it’s a mutual disdain for the subway.

That was on full display this week as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York Police Department sought the public’s help in finding the culprit behind a rash of subway emergency brake activations that snarled commutes for thousands, if not millions, of straphangers.

Isaiah Thompson, a 23-year-old from Brooklyn, was arrested early Friday on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing, The New York Times reported Friday. The NYPD confirmed the arrest on Twitter:

According to Jalopnik, the subway bandit targeted mainly the 2 and 5 train lines, from Central Brooklyn through Midtown Manhattan. In total, he’s expected to have delayed more than 700 trains in recent months.

Video released by the police showed someone riding outside the subway car in the rear of the train, which is apparently the bandit’s favorite way to avoid apprehension. After pulling the brakes, for whatever reason, the suspect would escape possibly via the tunnel’s emergency exits, sources told Jalopnik.

“What I’d like to do, with the legislature, is to get very harsh penalties in place for people who commit anti-social behavior, in whatever form that takes, I would love to be able to catch these people,” Andy Byford, the MTA’s subways boss, said at a meeting of the agency’s board on Wednesday. “I would like them to face the consequences of their actions, and I’d like to ban them from the subway. Right now we don’t have that power. We are actively seeking it.”


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