WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A 15-year-old boy died while subway surfing on a Brooklyn train Thursday morning, police said.
The teen was riding on top of the southbound J train when he fell under the car and touched the third rail near the Marcy Avenue station in Williamsburg at around 11:23 a.m., according to the NYPD. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A train conductor saw the teen on top of the train and called for help, but it was too late, sources close to the investigation told PIX11 News.
Police said 700 people were evacuated from the train after the incident. Train service was disrupted for hours in both directions as emergency crews responded.
Subway surfing is an “unfortunate trending issue” and is, to an extent, fueled by social media, NYPD Chief of Transit Jason Wilcox said at an MTA board meeting in June after two kids, ages 15 and 12, were injured riding on subways over the summer.
“Riding on the outside of a subway car is not only illegal, but incredibly dangerous. Each year we see teens killed engaging in so-called subway surfing. We enforce rules prohibiting moving between the train cars in order to combat this dangerous behavior,” an NYPD spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.
Most of the subway surfers are young, according to Wilcox. In most cases, the teens record themselves and post the video on social media.
Community leader Craig Housen believes subway surfing is a result of teens being bored without a place to turn.
“This is not the first or second occurrence, and this is largely due to the fact that we are not making resources available to our Black and Hispanic youths of Williamsburg,” Housen said. “What happens is they find other ways and means to entertain themselves, and most of the time it’s not usually safe.”