NEW YORK- Police say 30-year-old Demetrius Harvard is in custody in connection with the incident that derailed the northbound "A" train in Manhattan. The MTA is calling the incident, which caused evacuations, several injuries, and severe delays, an apparent act of vandalism.
Harvard has been has been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault and criminal trespassing.
The front of the northbound "A" train derailed as it entered the 14th Street-8th Avenue Station at around 8:15 a.m., causing power outages to all four tracks.
Three people were injured.
"We have significant damage to the train car itself, we have significant damage to the trackbed and track components as well as some damage to the structural steel columns in between the tracks" said Frank Jezycki, the acting head of subways for NYC Transit.
The train came into contact with debris on the roadbed, causing the train to scrape against the columns, according to MTA officials.
According to sources the object was a spare piece of track equipment called a tie plate, which is used to hold rails together. MTA officials did not identify the debris, saying it is under investigation.
"We've ruled out that this was due to any malfunction of our equipment or any inappropriate action by our crew. what it appears to be is some form of vandalism, something that would put on the track," MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren said.
There were 134 passengers on the train. Three people sustained minor injuries. One person was transported to Bellevue Hospital Center, the other two were evaluated at the scene and refused to be transported, according to the FDNY.
"The trains weigh quite a bit of weight so it's something significant that would cause the derailment," Jezycki said.
He said several hundred feet of third rail and four structural columns are damaged.
The accident caused the third rail power to be cut, causing a northbound A train near 34th Street to stop in the tunnel.
The MTA sent a train up the local track next to the stranded riders, and set up an emergency bridge to allow 125 passengers to exit the train, which was brought to 34th Street, around 9:50 a.m.
All A-C-E trains between West 4th street to 59th Street-Columbus Circle were suspended.
Limited local service on the A line was restored before 3:30 p.m., bypassing 14th Street. C service is suspended.
D and F service has been restored, but with significant delays.
The MTA officials aim to have normal rush hour service on Monday morning.
However, crews are not able to start repairs until the police investigation in the tunnel has completed.