Young adults busted riding on the railroad
The scene could have been from the old days.
Five young travelers hopped an eastbound freight west of Truckee earlier this week, headed home to the Midwest.
When authorities responded to a call Tuesday to meet the Union Pacific railroad train in Truckee, they needed help to detain one of the men who had been riding on top of a rail car. Truckee Police said they needed an assist from the Truckee Fire Protection District to access the man’s hiding place, where they arrested the allegedly drunken Timothy Wells, 22, of Napa.
Police also arrested four of his travel mates, two women and two men, for allegedly hitching an illegal ride on a freight train, a misdemeanor offense, according to Truckee Police Lt. Randy Fenn.
“We don’t know where they got on …,” Fenn said.
The lieutenant said Union Pacific personnel contacted Truckee police about the trespassers while the train was traveling through the Sierra foothills heading east toward Truckee.
Four of the five travelers were riding in a grain car and surrendered once police identified themselves.
The fifth hitchhiker, whom Fenn described as “extremely intoxicated,” was riding on top of a grain car. Truckee Fire contributed personnel and a ladder to assist police in taking the man into custody.
Fenn said railroad officials told him the man easily could have died riding atop the car through one of the train tunnels in Donner Pass.
The summer vagabonds were booked into Truckee Jail for trespassing on a railroad, a misdemeanor charge that can carry up to one year in jail and $1,000 fine, according to Fenn.
Arrested were Wells, the only Californian; Candice Moore and Kyle Charlau, both 23 from Kansas City, Mo.; Christopher Sandlin, 19, from Lee’s Summit, Mo.; and Jessica Ingalls, 24, from Hesperia, Mich.
According to Sgt. Rae Alexander of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office in Truckee, the stowaways were released the next day on a promise to appear at future court dates. Such releases are routine if the suspect has a permanent address, which all five have, Alexander said.
“They were very nice young people and polite,” said Alexander.
At the time of their arrest, the youthful freight train hitchhikers were prepared to camp on the trail, carrying backpacks full of clothes and equipment.
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