What the heck was this guy thinking?
This is just such a bizarre story.
Eduardo Moreno, a 44-year old train engineer, admitted that he deliberately ran a train off of the tracks at high speed near the port of Los Angeles on Tuesday in an attempt to crash into the USNS Mercy, a hospital ship that has been deployed to the area to ease the burden on hospitals dealing with coronavirus patients.
The train stopped 250 years from his intended target.
Federal prosecutors allege train engineer Eduardo Moreno, 44, of San Pedro intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was “suspicious” and did not believe “the ship is what they say it’s for.'”
The train crashed into a concrete barrier at the end of the track, smashed through a steel barrier and a chain-link fence, slid through one parking lot and then a second lot filled with gravel and hit a second chain-link fence. It came to rest after passing under a ramp leading to the Vincent Thomas Bridge. The train remained in that position Wednesday.
It sounds like Moreno has some sort of wild, tinfoil hat conspiracy theory about why the Navy’s hospital ship is taking in non-coronavirus patients.
No one was injured in the derailment, but the train did leak fuel which required a hazmat response.
Authorities say Moreno admitted to crashing the train intentionally, but said he did not plan it out in advance. It is believed that he acted alone.
He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included “You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”
Officials say video from inside the train’s cab shows Moreno holding a lighted flare during the incident.
Source: ABC 7
According to The Washington Post, Moreno told prosecutors that he thought that the naval hospital vessel was there for a “government takeover” and that “they are segregating us, and it needs to be put in the open.” He didn’t believe that the vessel was there for the stated purpose of easing the burden on hospitals in the area by allowing them to focus on patients with the coronavirus. He said that the idea just “popped into his head” and he just went for it.
Prosecutors say Moreno was “suspicious of the USNS Mercy,” believing officials were lying about its true purpose. He believed “it had an alternate purpose related to covid-19 or a government takeover,” they said….
…“I don’t know. Sometimes you just get a little snap and man, it was fricking exciting,” Moreno told detectives. “I just had it and I was committed. I just went for it. I had one chance.”…
…At the last minute, Moreno lit a flare. He looked up at the camera, raising his middle finger to it. Then, just before the train smashed through the concrete barriers, he stuck the flare out the window, keeping it there all the way through impact.
He told the detectives, “I can’t wait to see the video.”
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Moreno has been charged with one count of train wrecking which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.