Isaiah Thompson, the notorious subway brake bandit who was arrested earlier this year and charged for allegedly triggering hundreds of commuting headaches by pulling the emergency brakes on multiple trains, has been arrested again for subway surfing.
Police say Thompson, 23, turned himself in on Friday after he was seen riding on the outside of a northbound 5 train in Manhattan last Wednesday. Witnesses at Union Square apparently spotted Thompson and alerted authorities, prompting Thompson to flee into the subway tunnel. He was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing.
This was Thompson's 18th arrest for subway-related offenses.
"This man put lives at risk, endangering himself, our workers and his fellow passengers while disturbing the lives of thousands of people,” an MTA spokesperson said in a statement. "We’re grateful to the NYPD for their quick arrest and believe he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Thompson was previously charged with multiple counts of reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing for pulling the emergency brakes on at least two trains this past spring. At the time, one official initially dubbed him "a nutcase who is addicted to fucking with the trains," and the MTA said that they believe Thompson to be responsible for 747 delays and cancellations between March and May, simply because—as he reportedly told the officers who arrested him—he likes to "create mayhem" and "inconvenience people."
"He has mentioned in the past that he enjoys this and enjoys the thrill," Inspector Brian McGee, the commanding officer that handled his case, told reporters after Thompson’s arrest in May. “He likes to cause havoc.”
Thompson was arrested at least three times in 2017 and 2018 for subway surfing, and also charged with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct in those incidents. Straphanger Matt Beary captured video of Thompson outside of a C train in July 2018.
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Classic NYC craziness. Why ride inside the car when you can level up your urban surfing skills? Had to post the full video to prove he was still alive at the end. . . . . #urbansurfing #commute #mta #subwaycreatures #subway #grip #steez #skills #brooklyn #ctrain #goingyourway #clintonhill #justanormalday #entertainment #danger #dontrythisathome #prosonly #wild #gottago #subwaysurfer #subwaysurfing #skylarking @humansofny @subwaycreatures
New York City Transit chief Andy Byford told Gothamist at the time: "Riding on the outside of a subway car is incredibly dangerous, disruptive, and foolish - it can cause major delays and easily result in death. This young man is lucky he ended up in police custody and not in a hospital or worse."