NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – A subway train derailed after hitting debris in Manhattan on Sunday morning — and a man suspected of throwing construction debris onto the tracks was later arrested.
The NYPD said Sunday night that 30-year-old Demetrius Harvard of the Bronx has been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault and criminal trespass. Police did not release a motive, but Harvard has a record of about a dozen other minor arrests, WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported.
Sources told the Daily News that a man placed metal clamps on the tracks and was “laughing at his accomplishment” after the train derailed. Witnesses reportedly helped detain him until police arrived and took him into custody.
No one suffered any serious injuries and all passengers were safely evacuated, according to officials.
The A train carrying 135 people derailed around 8:15 a.m. as it entered the 14th Street/Eighth Avenue station in Chelsea on the northbound express track, transit officials said at a briefing.
Officials said they'd ruled out any malfunction or inappropriate action by crews. They said it appeared to be “some sort of vandalism or something that was put on the track” and that “the trains weigh quite a bit ... so it’s something significant that would cause the derailment.”
The train came in contact with the debris as it was pulling into the station, causing four wheels to leave the tracks, according to officials.
Images from the station show damage to the front car of the train as well as the tracks. Officials said there was significant damage to the track components, including several hundred feet of third rail. Four structural columns were also damaged. Engineers were on scene assessing the damage. The train car had damage to its side and undercarriage.
The derailment caused a loss of power to all four tracks and left a northbound A train carrying 125 people near 34th Street stuck in a tunnel, officials said. All passengers on that train were safely evacuated at 34th Street.
The derailment also led to extensive service changes and delays on the A, C, D, E, and F lines. Repairs were completed in time for the Monday morning commute.