Man arrested 29 times for transit crimes sentenced in bus theft

Detectives walk Darius McCollum out of the Transit District at Columbus Circle on his way to central booking. McCollum was arrested for trying to access restricted areas in the subway system while dressed as an MTA employee. (Photo by Craig Warga/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Detectives walk Darius McCollum out of the Transit District at Columbus Circle on his way to central booking. McCollum was arrested for trying to access restricted areas in the subway system while dressed as an MTA employee. Credit: Craig Warga/NY Daily News via Getty Images

Darius McCollum, arrested nearly 30 times over 30 years for posing as a subway worker or bus driver, at times piloting trains full of unsuspecting commuters, was sentenced to up to 5 years in prison on Thursday for his latest joyride.

McCollum, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, will seek treatment for his transit obsession upon his release from prison, under a plea deal with prosecutors, his lawyer said.

McCollum, 48, pleaded guilty this month to taking a Trailways bus in 2010 from a depot in Hoboken, New Jersey, and driving it to the city’s Queens borough, apparently en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Queens District Attorney’s office said.

It was McCollum’s 29th arrest since the age of 15.

He faced up to 15 years behind bars for the Trailways theft but as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, he was sentenced to 2-1/2 to 5 years in prison.

McCollum has been in jail for nearly 3 years and could face a parole board within weeks since he already has served the minimum of his sentence, his attorney Sally Butler said.

“The goal was to get him in front of a parole board as soon as possible, to get him out of the system and to get him some help,” she said.

McCollum’s obsession with mass transit, specifically with the city’s subway system, started early in his life when he hid in a train after being violently attacked at school, she said.

“It was his home. It’s was an environment where he feels safe,” she said.

In 1981, McCollum was arrested for the first time after taking the controls of an E train and driving it six stops, apparently without any complaints from the conductor or passengers.

Over the next two decades, McCollum was arrested for a series of transit crimes, including dressing like a Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee and attempting – and at times succeeding – to drive trains and repair vehicles.

He also posed as a member of a crew working on tracks.

“He’s done this way more times than he’s been arrested,” his attorney said.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Kevin Gray and Richard Chang)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.