Monday, June 14, 2004

D.A. BROWN: MANHATTAN MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTING TO STEAL LONG ISLAND RAILROAD TRAIN; FACES UP TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that a Manhattan man has been charged with attempted grand larceny, criminal impersonation and other offenses and accused of trying to take a Long Island Rail Road M-7 locomotive and train from an LIRR train yard in Jamaica, Queens.

District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant is alleged to have entered an LIRR train yard without permission, posed as a rail road safety consultant and asked locomotive manufacturer’s representatives how to operate an M-7 locomotive, a new railroad engine manufactured by the Bombardier Company, that had been recently delivered to the train yard. The defendant when apprehended admitted that he had stolen assorted railroad keys used to operate train engines including a key able to start an M-7 Bombardier locomotive.”

District Attorney Brown identified the defendant as Darius McCollum ,39, of 130 Columbia Street in Manhattan. The defendant has been charged with Attempted Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, Possession of Burglar’s Tools and Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The District Attorney said that according to the criminal charges the defendant was present inside the LIRR train yard at 182-30 Liberty Avenue in Jamaica, Queens wearing a vest and hard hat customarily worn by LIRR employees, holding Metropolitan Transportation Authority publications and that he presented a business card that identified him as a Captain and an independent railroad safety consultant. It is further alleged that the defendant asked representatives of the Bombardier Company, a manufacturer of railroad engines and cars, how to operate the company’s M-7 locomotive which had been delivered to the LIRR and which were then present in the train yard.

District Attorney Brown said that the defendant walked out of the train yard when his identification was called into question and when apprehended had in his possession various railroad keys which he admitted he had stolen including a key able to operate an M-7 locomotive.

The District Attorney said that the defendant was arraigned on Saturday, June 12, 2004 in Queens Criminal Court by Judge Pauline A. Mullings who set bail of $250,000 and a return date of June 24, 2004.

Assistant District Attorney Christina Hanophy, Supervisor, of the District Attorney’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gerard A. Brave, Bureau Chief, and Marc P. Resnick, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.

It should be noted that criminal charges are merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.