A cyclist who was almost hit by a train after forcing his way through closed barriers at a level crossing in south west London has been fined £130. The London Evening Standard reports that George Caraska pleaded guilty to one count of disobeying a safety notice or sign and one of obstructing an engine using the railway by an unlawful act.
Footage of the incident, shot at North Sheen station by Twitter user Laughingcow4, was widely shared on the social network after being retweeted by broadcaster Jeremy Vine.
One onlooker who urged the man to stop can be heard being told, “I don’t fucking care, mate.”
Caraska then gesticulated angrily at the train as it passed within inches of him, with the driver sounding the horn.
The driver is reported to have carried out an emergency stop, meaning that the crossing became blocked. Caraska ended up carrying his bike over the footbridge.
Caraska was arrested after first failing to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a hearing in October.
Speaking after he was sentenced this week, Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith of British Transport Police said: “This has to rank as one of the most stupid, arrogant and dangerous things I’ve seen in my entire police service.
“Fortunately, Caraska was caught on camera and widely shared on social media by members of the public who were as horrified by his actions as we were.
“Disobeying a safety notice on the railway and obstructing a train is a serious matter and could have resulted in death or injury to the train driver, passengers, Caraska himself and massive disruption and cost to the rail network. Not forgetting of course it would be left to my staff and busy emergency services to deal with the aftermath.
“I’m really pleased BTP officers have put this man before the courts. Their tenacity shows we are, and always will be, relentless in tracking down anyone who puts public safety at risk.
“Notices and barriers are there for a reason and anyone with a molecule of common sense knows that. Regrettably in Caraska’s case, common sense isn’t all that common.”