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
Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

National

A look into the minds of Tsarnaev's fan…

While thousands of supporters insist their loyalty is due to a steadfast belief that Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev's is innocent, others, mainly young women, come dangerously close to an unhealthy infatuation…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

Television

Bethenny Frankel will be returning to 'Real Housewives…

Bethenny Frankel will officially be returning to the show that made her a star. She'll be on the seventh season of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City."

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

Education

Is a 'gap year' after high school for…

It’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are…

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…