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MTA, cops search for man accused of pulling emergency brakes on trains

Posted at 5:23 AM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 08:16:36-04

MANHATTAN — The NYPD released video of the man who has been pulling the emergency brakes on trains during peak commuting hours.

The individual is described as a man, 20-to-30 years old with brown eyes and black hair. He is approximately 5 feet, 9 inches and weighs 160 pounds.

In the video, he was last seen wearing a dark colored New York Yankees cap and a black Nike t-shirt with the words "swag don't come cheap" on the front.

The man has mostly been pulling the emergency brakes on the 2 and 5 trains. He's been able to do so successfully because authorities believe he somehow has keys to a locked panel where the emergency brake switch is located.

The MTA believes a group of people may be intentionally activating the emergency brakes. This is something officials say may have been going on for years.

“We were reluctant to discuss because of copycats," MTA chairman Pat Foye said.

But now the MTA wants to enlist the public’s help in finding the people responsible.

Foye said the MTA needs to be able to ban people who cause disruptions.

"What they do is they go in, they operate the emergency brake, the've been in some cases surfing on the back of the train and they run off before they get caught and go and do it on another train," MTA President Andy Byford said. "This is stupid, it is dangerous, it is selfish and it has got to stop."

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).