Brooklyn prosecutor Janet Gleeson asked, “How many times have you taken [MTA] trains in your life without permission or authority?”
McCollum responded, “Probably a couple of thousand times,” noting he often wore MTA uniforms that he’d gotten from retired transit worker pals.
McCollum said if you factored in his hundreds of joyrides on LIRR, Amtrak and Metro North trains he had manned the controls some 5,000 times —despite no formal training.
He said his unofficial education in train operation started when he was just 12 and older MTA workers gave him pointers.
The transportation fanatic admitted that he knew he was risking the lives of Greyhound passengers when he drove them during a 2015 snow storm but said he did it anyway because, “They were shorthanded on staff.”
Gleeson pressed, “The only reason you drove those buses is because Greyhound was short that day?”
McCollum answered, “That would be affirmative. Yes.”
The 52-year-old also admitted to having forged ID’s for many of the transportation companies and agencies and said he bought fake CIA and Homeland Security badges that he would flash when people got suspicious.
This story has my brain in a god damn fisherman’s knot. How, in 2018, in a city that has one of the largest & well trained police forces in the country, does a person pull off FIVE THOUSAND joyrides of mass transit equipment?!?! Mind bottling revelation here. I can’t fathom how this guy pulled it off but I’m also pretty sure I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns and here’s why.
Think back to all the times you’ve been stuck on a train. If you, like Nick and I, are a New Yorker, it’s probably been so many times you’ve lost count. There is nothing worse than a delay in a sweltering tunnel, on a train with no A/C, in the summer months. It’s borderline a death sentence. Plus, the tunnel parts have no cell service so you can kiss spotify goodbye. No twitter, no gram, no NOTHING. Just your awful thoughts.
Now this whole story comes to light, and all I can think in my head, is that this whacko is responsible for a few. Has to be. Dude had no training. No clue what to do in reality. All second hand knowledge. Yet he’s out here running the 4,5,6 like who the fuck he is. My solution: life in the looney bin. Just give him some kind of model train set. Maybe a train power wheels or something like that. This way he gets his train rocks off, and we get less MTA screw ups. Everybody wins this way. Bingo bango problemo solved.