CALGARY, Alberta – In what can only be described as an episode of frenzied panic, a deranged Calgary-area man knocked over a C-Train operator at the Crowfoot LRT station and commandeered a 3-car train for the purposes of expediting his commute to the downtown core.
The train, fully populated with over 475 commuters, made an express trip from Crowfoot to the City Hall station at maximum throttle. Non-stop. There were no reported physical injuries.
According to eye-witnesses along the busy 7th Avenue transit corridor, the deranged train “operator” jumped out of the window at the City Hall station as the train continued to roll at a reduced speed, where he was met by members of the Calgary Police Service.
A patrol car waiting at the controlled crossing at SAIT reported a train traveling at excessive speeds, and that it did not even slow down at the SAIT station, let alone stop. We dispatched a number of patrol vehicles and the SWAT team to intercept the train, but the earliest opportunity to stop it was at City Hall, where it just so happens the driver slowed down and jumped out.
The driver, Zeynab Beyezidi, a 37-year old reservoir engineer with Bendovus Energy, was arrested with little incident after he took 3 steps at the scene after he picked himself up off the tracks. He was taken into custody and is facing charges of assault with a rather large calculator, grand theft train, operating a public transit vehicle without a proper license, 479 counts of kidnapping, 479 counts of forcible confinement, endangering the public at large, and resisting arrest.
An eye witness describes the train’s unusual behavior:
So I’m waiting at the Lion’s Park station and I could hear an unusual screaming sound. And then all of the sudden, a C-Train whips out of the tunnel doing I’m guessing 80 km/hr on a bend where it typically goes 15 km/hr. I’m not sure how it stayed on the tracks. I thought maybe the City was testing a new braking system, but when it didn’t stop, I figured something was up. From the quick glance I got of the driver, he wasn’t wearing a Calgary Transit uniform and he looked a little troubled. – Gary Frettman, witness
According to sources close to Mr. Beyezidi at Bendovus Energy, he was under tremendous stress over the last few weeks as he prepared for 2013 year-end reserves review meetings with company Vice Presidents.
Apparently, he had spent 12 hours each day over this period trying to locate 1.2 million barrels of oil reserves that he was forced to write-up last year after losing a bet. One of the sources continued, “We are all under a lot of stress this time of the year, with Christmas shopping, family commitments and all of that stuff going on, but that’s no excuse to steal a C-Train and put peoples’ lives in danger.” – Lucy Headsummer, colleague
Mr. Beyezidi has pleaded guilty to all charges against him, and pending the results of a psychiatric evaluation, he is expected to spend up to 5 years in jail and 500 hours of volunteer community service helping smaller companies evaluate their reserves.