A 16-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday on a slew of charges for allegedly taking a two-car MTA subway train on a short joyride at the Forest Hills-71st Avenue station on Saturday, Dec. 30.
The teenager, whose name was not released given his age, was among a group of thrill seekers who were caught on a security camera at around 4:45 p.m. breaking into one of the unoccupied subway cars that had been parked at the end of the platform. Once inside, the group of teens gained entry to the operator’s compartment and using a key they were able to move the two empty cars northbound on a brief ride before running away on foot.
There were no injuries stemming from the incident, police said.
The 16-year-old boy was charged with reckless endangerment, trespass, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct. He is awaiting arraignment.
According to the MTA, the two-car train was not in service and had not yet been assigned to a subway line.
“I want to assure folks, at no time was that train in danger of leaving the yard because the signal system would have activated the emergency brake,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said during an unrelated press conference on Jan. 4. “A storage track signal system stopped it and our tower operators immediately called 911.”
Davey added that the key to the operator’s compartment may have been purchased online and the MTA is addressing the issue.
“I’m sure they thought it was a prank but it’s not funny. It delayed our people from getting their jobs done and now it’s taking up police resources to investigate this incident,” Davey said. “It’s just another incident where things are slowing down trains and hard-working New Yorkers can’t get around because people are vandalizing our trains whether they’re smashing windows, jumping turnstiles, or in this case trying to move trains.”
The NYPD got one alleged suspect and continues to search for the other culprits who remain at large.