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Man sentenced to 60 months in prison for interfering with railroad conductor

The judge said Thomas’ actions not only affected the conductor, but recklessly endangered the...
The judge said Thomas’ actions not only affected the conductor, but recklessly endangered the safety of the train itself.(MGN Online / Amtrak)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Portland, Oregon man was sentenced to 60 months in prison Thursday for intentionally interfering with an on-duty Amtrak railroad conductor.

Timothy Thomas, 32, pleaded guilty to this charge on March 3, 2022.

On November 7, 2020, law enforcement responded to a report of an Amtrak passenger brandishing an eight-inch knife. While in route, officers received information that the engineer stopped the train near the intersection of US-12 and Hudson Road in Monroe Co., Wisconsin.

Officers also learned that the subject, Thomas, got off the train and attempted to make his way into one of the locomotives.

When officers arrived, they saw Thomas walking away from the tracks. Officers detained Thomas, searched him for weapons and found a large, white-handled knife concealed in his right pant leg.

In conducting interviews, passengers explained to officers that Thomas started threatening people around the Wisconsin Dells area. One passenger said Thomas was talking loudly, banging on the seats and threatening to “kill people.” Another passenger said Thomas refused to wear his mask and coughed on other passengers.

The conductor told investigators that when she approached Thomas to discuss his behavior, he pulled a knife from his pant leg and held it over his head in a threatening manner. He then began stabbing the knife toward the conductor.

The train’s engineer stopped the train when he received a radio transmission from the conductor about an individual with a knife. The engineer then saw Thomas exit one of the cars, climb into a locomotive and attempt to force his way into the cabin.

During sentencing, Judge William M. Conley said Thomas’ actions not only affected the conductor, but recklessly endangered the safety of the train itself.

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