News you aren't getting: Train engineer's ridiculous effort to ram USNS Mercy in Port of LA
An engineer has been arrested on suspicion of derailing a train at full speed near the USNS Mercy in California. The ship is a floating hospital that is providing care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ship is docked in San Pedro, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles.
Eduardo Moreno, 44, was charged Wednesday with one count of train wrecking, the Department of Justice said.
A California Highway Patrol officer recounted watching the train barrel at full speed "into a concrete barrier at the end of the track, smash into a steel barrier, smash into a chain-link fence, slide through a parking lot, slide across another lot filled with gravel, and smash into a second chain-link fence," according to an affidavit cited by the DOJ.
The USNS Mercy arrived at the Port of Los Angeles Friday. Like the USNS Comfort in New York, it is providing relief to area hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
The affidavit cited by the DOJ said Moreno admitted to crashing the train and suggested the ship "had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover."
As it entered the Port of Los Angeles, a train engineer attempt to ram the USNS Mercy, claiming the ship represented ulterior government motives. The hospital ship was not damaged. (Photo: NBC News)
Though Moreno attempted to flee, the CHP officer that witnessed the event detained him and heard martyr-like ramblings such as a claim that the ship was "part of a federal government plot to control our lives."
No injuries have been reported as a result of the incident, though hazmat teams had to clean up fuel spilled by the rogue locomotive.
The Mercy was not damaged or affected by the crash, and no one was injured. The DOJ cited the affidavit as saying Moreno told the Los Angeles Port Police he acted alone and had not pre-planned his actions.
Moreno worked for Pacific Harbor Line, a train company that carries cargo from the port and connects to major railroad lines, according to a representative for the Port of Los Angeles.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Los Angeles Port Police are leading the investigation.
Moreno faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.