A Leetsdale man is facing numerous charges including risking a catastrophe after Moon Police said he put a moving CSX train in jeopardy of derailment.
James Wilczak, 42, is also charged with simple trespassing, recklessly endangering another person, obstruction of highways or other public passages and disorderly conduct.
Moon Police were called at 4:25 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 to the BP Bulk Plant off Route 51 for a report of a man putting debris on the railroad tracks and the roadway leading up to the tracks.
Police arrived to find Wilczak walking from behind his truck parked on the road.
Police said Wilczak had placed several items on the railroad tracks, including two 2x4s with nails sticking out of them, a baseball bat, two pool sticks and a black jacket.
He was ordered to stop and patted down for weapons. Police asked Wilczak what he was doing and he responded that he was doing an experiment to see if the trains would stop. He told police his friend was killed by a train and he wanted to know why.
Police saw two gasoline cans near Wilczak's truck and one contained a small amount of gas. Wilczak told police he was thinking of lighting the debris on fire, police said.
Police had Wilczak remove the debris from the tracks in case a train was coming. Within 10 minutes, police said an eastbound train crossed the road and would have struck the debris had it not been removed.
A special agent with CSX told police if Wilczak had lit a fire on the tracks, the train would have activated the full emergency service, which could cause a derailment. Police added that a conductor and engineer were aboard the train, and both would have been injured.
Wilczak was taken to Allegheny County Jail where he remains, unable to post $10,000 bond.