A Manhattan subway train derailed on Sunday morning after a maniacal, laughing saboteur flung metal clamps onto the tracks. Demetrius Harvard, 30, suspected to have committed the crime, was hit with a number of charges for the vandalism on Sunday night, police said.
At 8:14 AM on Sunday, an uptown A train was inching closer to the 14th St. station in the West Village when it ran into the metal tie plates. The first car of the train veered off the tracks, sideswiping at least 10 beams after striking the metal ties, also known as D plates. All 135 passengers were taken off the train by first responders, and passengers suffering from minor injuries were taken to nearby hospitals for immediate treatment.
The train’s first two wheelsets were thrown from the tracks and the front car slammed into four structural pillars, causing its metal siding to peel back and its front three door panels to be damaged. The derailment tripped a breaker that cut the power on the uptown express A train tracks between Canal and 34th Sts., stranding another train in a subway tunnel just south of Penn Station with about 125 people on board, transit officials said.
Harvard, the suspected saboteur, tossed metal plates onto the tracks, but a bystander leaped onto the roadbed to clear the debris before the train pulled in, a police source said. Despite this attempt, Harvard remained unfettered and continued to throw more clamps as the train came closer to the station. The plates, which are normally used to secure tracks to the roadbed, were speculated by the Police to have been left back by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority work crews.
Commuters saw the suspect laughing at the disaster he unleashed, sources said. Good Samaritans held him at the station until cops took him into custody. Having an extensive criminal record, Harvard was previously arrested Sept. 5 on charges of criminal mischief for allegedly hurling a metal bench through a bus window on 8th Avenue and 22nd street, according to sources and records. He was released without bail in that case.
Taken into custody, the deranged subway saboteur has been hit with multiple charges including reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault, and criminal trespass charges in the incident that created delays to the transit system, officials said.