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Man who derailed subway train, leaving three injured, learns his fate

A man who derailed a Manhattan subway train, injuring three passengers and causing hundreds of dollars in damage was sentenced to prison time Monday.

Demetrius Harvard, 32, was wearing a spit hood when he was sentenced to two to seven years behind bars in Manhattan Supreme Court. He pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and criminal mischief last month for the 2020 incident.

Court officers placed a spit hood over Harvard’s head in court Monday after he had a meltdown and spit at court officers during a prior hearing.

Harvard chucked metal construction debris onto tracks at West 14th Street and Eighth Avenue just as an uptown A-train pulled into the station on the morning of Sept. 20.

The train hit the debris and derailed, injuring three straphangers and “causing multiple areas of damage,” according to a criminal complaint.

Harvard is seen wearing a spit hood.
Steven Hirsch

Harvard reportedly smiled as he watched the train derail, the complaint states. Witnesses held him down until police arrived.

The track’s third rail, station support columns and the A-train front car were all banged up, the court document stated. The MTA estimated that the repairs would cost “significantly more than $1,500 to remedy” at the time.

The derailment was not Harvard’s first time damaging MTA property. Earlier the same month, he struck a city bus with a metal street barricade, shattering two windows, court records show.

A Train
The derailed A-train derailed injured three straphangers.
Bill Farrington
Demetrius Harvard mom
Harvard’s mother was in the courtroom.
Steven Hirsch
A line train
Harvard damaged a MTA bus prior to the A train incident.
Dan Herrick

Manhattan prosecutors, in that case, didn’t ask for bail and Harvard was granted supervised release after he was arraigned on one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief. He hurled debris onto the subway tracks roughly two weeks later.

Harvard’s mother was sitting in the courtroom during his sentencing. He was allowed to say goodbyes before being taken away by court guards.

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