A Brooklyn 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday night on charges of criminal mischief, arson and reckless endangerment for putting a metal sign on C Train tracks at Nostrand Avenue last Thursday morning. The train ran over the sign, causing a frightening explosion, as seen in the video above.
This incident is apparently just one of many, as Keyshawn Brown has allegedly been vandalizing trains all over the city for months. According to a conductor quoted by Gothamist, Brown was part of a group of teens who vandalized a railyard in Queens a few months ago. The group apparently calls themselves the Conquesters, and they brag about their exploits to social media. Brown’s name on his now-deleted Facebook was “Keyshawn Train Boy Brown.” The Conquesters pull emergency brakes, sneak into unoccupied cabs and make announcements, and have access to train keys, which means they could illegally drive a train if they want. Gothamist’s MTA source says the MTA and the NYPD have known about them for months but haven’t taken action until now, telling him that Brown had to be caught in the act before they could do anything. It is unclear whether or how the video counts as “in the act.”
Brown pleaded guilty last month to felony assault for beating a former friend over the head with a stolen motorman’s brake handle. Brown, who will be tried as an adult, could face more felony charges as a result of Thursday’s explosion, which police say caused “a risk of train derailment, risk of injury or death to passengers who were on that train, and caused over $5000 of damage to MTA property.” No one was injured.
Brown and his friends are also allegedly the people involved in this video from February that shows someone throwing a metal sign onto the third rail of an outdoor subway track and causing an explosion.