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Feds: Man intentionally derailed LA train near hospital ship

A train engineer intentionally drove a speeding locomotive off a track at the Port of Los Angeles because he was suspicious about the presence of a Navy hospital ship docked there amid the coronavirus crisis.

Posted: Apr 1, 2020 4:21 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A train engineer intentionally drove a speeding locomotive off a track at the Port of Los Angeles because he was suspicious about the presence of a Navy hospital ship docked there amid the coronavirus crisis, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The locomotive crashed through a series of barriers and fences before coming to rest more than 250 yards (228 meters) from the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release.

Nobody was hurt.

Eduardo Moreno, 44, was charged with one count of train wrecking, prosecutors said. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.

Moreno admitted in two separate interviews with law enforcement that he intentionally derailed and crashed the train near the Mercy, according to the criminal complaint.

“You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to,” Moreno told police, according to prosecutors. “People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”

Moreno said he was suspicious of the Mercy and believed it had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover, an affidavit states. Moreno stated that he acted alone and had not pre-planned the attempted attack.

In an interview with FBI agents, Moreno stated that “he did it out of the desire to ‘wake people up,’” according to the affidavit.

“Moreno stated that he thought that the U.S.N.S. Mercy was suspicious and did not believe ‘the ship is what they say it’s for,’” the complaint said.

He was arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer who witnessed the crash and captured Moreno as he fled the scene. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Port of Los Angeles Police are now leading the investigation.

The CHP officer reported seeing “the train smash into a concrete barrier at the end of the track, smash into a steel barrier, smash into a chain-link fence, slide through a parking lot, slide across another lot filled with gravel, and smash into a second chain-link fence,” according to an affadavit.

The Mercy arrived in port this week to provide a thousand hospital beds to take the load of regional medical centers expecting a surge of COVID-19 patients.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 333357

Reported Deaths: 7089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1363573824
Riverside25748550
Orange25255424
San Diego19929422
San Bernardino19502307
Fresno828288
Imperial7977136
Alameda7976148
San Joaquin698870
Kern660198
Santa Clara6542167
Tulare5942152
Sacramento571483
Stanislaus497351
Contra Costa485290
San Francisco459050
Ventura424653
San Mateo4045112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin370232
Kings297039
Monterey279018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma181916
Placer111411
San Luis Obispo10065
Yolo92928
Madera8938
Santa Cruz5693
Napa5184
Lassen4280
Sutter4034
San Benito3622
Butte3384
El Dorado3070
Shasta2006
Yuba1983
Glenn1760
Humboldt1654
Nevada1631
Mendocino1320
Lake1211
Colusa1130
Tehama1071
Tuolumne730
Calaveras670
Del Norte610
Mono521
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo351
Mariposa321
Plumas190
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Oroville
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Paradise
Few Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 93°
Chester
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 87°
Red Bluff
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 98°
Willows
Few Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 93°
Tuesday was another hot day for northern California, but a slight shift in our weather pattern Wednesday will make it hotter for everyone.
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