Hitching a ride on a freight train is always a bad idea, and two Northeast Ohio men who hopped onto a CSX train Tuesday morning discovered they could not get off.
So, they called 911. "I'm on the train and it's going really fast and I don't know where it's going. OK you're following a what, a vehicle or? No, I'm on a train."
Wayne County sheriff's deputies say two men from Huron County hopped onto the freight train in Willard, hoping to catch a ride to the other side of town.
But, the train accelerated to speeds approaching 60 mph, and 20-year-old Christian Hale and 24-year-old Kevin Slone found themselves hanging on in between two rail cars.
That's when Hale called 911. "OK, what are you doing on the train? Well, I really don't know; that's why am calling because it's stupid... It's better than walking, but it really is scaring the (BLEEP) out of us."
Investigators say, incredibly, the two suspects actually applied the hand brakes on one of the rail cars, forcing the crew to make an emergency stop at a crossing outside Doylestown.
A deputy searched the two-mile-long train but couldn't find the two train hoppers.
But, another deputy caught up with the men walking along a nearby road. Hale and Slone denied riding on the train and called 911, but Hale eventually changed his story when deputies pointed out the 911 call came from his cell phone.
Hale asked the deputies to give him a break after his long, bumpy ride between the rail cars and could not seem to comprehend why CSX is pressing trespassing charges. "I thought it was going to stop in Willard and it didn't stop and I should have never got on the train and I know it was a stupid idea."
Hale seemed shocked to learn his ill-conceived plan to hitch a ride across town left him 55 miles away from home. "So, you thought you could get on one end of Willard and get off at the other; is what you were thinking? Well yeah, I figured they'd have to stop at a train station; I really don't know nothing about trains. Apparently not."
Hale told authorities he called 911 several times earlier in the trip from Willard, but he couldn't communicate with dispatchers because the train was too loud.