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subway surfing

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by fr8lover, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. fr8lover

    fr8lover Guest

    Underground Surfing Deadly

    October 24, 2002


    A lobby in the Bronxdale Houses is a shrine to Atahualpa Inoa.

    "Rest In Peace" has been scrawled on the door and notes remembering the 18-year-old have been posted on the walls. There were flowers and white candles and pictures of a young man who, police said, was killed while trying to surf a No. 6 subway train.

    "You were always so filled with life and joy," a girl wrote the young man known as "Taco."

    Since Inoa's death just after midnight Sunday, teenagers have been gathering in the Bruckner Boulevard lobby, dabbing tears and reminiscing.

    The other night, Inoa's 69-year-old grandmother, Nelsa Gonzalez, interrupted them with a warning.

    "Take care of yourselves," she said. "Look at Taco. He's never coming back."

    That Inoa is the latest casualty of subway surfing isn't expected to deter others from riding the backs of the transit system's 400-ton workhorses.

    "It won't stop us," said a 17-year-old friend who refused to give his name. "Surfing trains is the greatest high. There is nothing like the rush you get."

    It is also the absolute height of stupidity.

    In the shadows of the Westchester Avenue el, the bloody urban sport is well known among teenagers, who stand on trains, arms extended like wings. On underground lines, with only inches of clearance, they lie on trains hurtling through tunnels.

    Neither New York City Transit nor the police department keep records on the number of subway-surfing deaths.

    In January, Ariel Briones, 20, was struck and killed on subway tracks in Brooklyn after he fell from the roof of a C train. On Oct. 14, a 35-year-old Staten Island man, Nasad Alesky, was critically injured when his head hit a beam as he rode atop a No. 1 train in upper Manhattan. Alesky fell and was struck by the train. He's been in a coma ever since.

    Officially, police say the number of surfing deaths doesn't appear to be rising, though a police source acknowledges a surge in the number of people riding outside trains in the last month.

    "So much of it doesn't get in the paper because no one gets hurt," the source said. "But over the pager we get jobs of such and such a unit responding to this location regarding persons riding on the outside of the train."

    Around the Bronxdale Houses, where Inoa's family lived for the last four years, several versions of the circumstances leading to his death circulated. All versions agree on one fact: Inoa was making his way to the top of the train when he was struck and fell.

    Deputy Inspector John Cassillo of the transit bureau said witnesses told police Inoa was climbing the train when his head hit a beam and he fell.

    Death stopped him from reaching the top. It seems to be the only deterrent. People caught riding outside trains in New York are issued $75 summons. That's not enough. But Cassillo and others insisted that harsher penalties are not the answer.

    "When you're intent on doing something that reckless, no criminal penalty or fines will deter you," he said. "You can't codify common sense."

    In Boston, transit officials are pushing a bill that would make surfing on trains and trolleys there punishable by fines of $500 to $2,500 and 60 days in jail. Getting caught now gets you a $20 fine.

    In 1993, a New York judge ruled that an injured subway surfer could not sue for damages. "It is impossible to make the subways 100 percent safe, let alone guard against the intentional and foreseeable dangers," the judge wrote.

    Though surfing deaths have been occurring since the 1980s, NYC Transit has never mounted a public service campaign against the deadly practice.

    Yesterday, Inoa's mother, Sorangel Mercado, said her son was with three other teens and that each one provided a different account of the death.

    "They need to talk to these kids again," she said. "There are too many different versions."

    Inoa was born in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, the youngest of three children. He was named after the Inca emperor Atahualpa. He picked up the nickname Taco in the Bronx.

    On Sunday, relatives said, Inoa had been home all day playing computer games. Sometime after 11 p.m., friends called and he said he was going out. His mother urged him to stay home.

    "You never want me to go out," he told her. "You think I'm a baby but I'm a man."

    Inoa then blew her a kiss and walked out the door.
     
  2. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Guest

    I'd have to say that I wouldn't do it.

    Some risks just aren't worth it.
     
  3. podrido

    podrido Veteran Member

    Joined: Apr 14, 2001 Messages: 9,182 Likes Received: 28
    i'd rather paint em.
     
  4. sneak

    sneak Guest

    i never done that before, but who hasnt hung on to a truck or somethin while on a bike?
     
  5. fr8otech

    fr8otech Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 17, 2002 Messages: 2,057 Likes Received: 0
    coma ever since....no thanks;)
     
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