Deputies with the Little River County Sheriff’s Office, working in cooperation with the Kansas City Southern Railway Police Department, arrested a Texarkana man after he allegedly disconnected several cars from a moving train in an apparent act of vandalism on Saturday, March 4.
Robert Foster, 31, of Texarkana, is being held at the Little River County Jail in Ashdown pending a bond hearing. According to initial reports by the Little River County Sheriff’s Office, Foster climbed aboard a Kansas City Southern Freight Train in Texarkana and rode it 35 miles north to Alleene, Arkansas. Just north of Alleene, Foster forced several connecters lose from the car he had climbed aboard, causing the train to separate in half, locking up the brakes on the train. The disconnected section came to a halt approximately a mile north of Alleene, while the section containing the Locomotives and Foster continued to near Winthrop Arkansas, when a member of the railroad crew investigating the separation spotted Foster jumping off of the train.
A Little River County Sheriff’s Deputy was able to take Foster into custody near the KCS Railroad Crossing in Winthrop a short time after receiving the report. Although he initially attempted to hide, Foster was arrested without further incident.
As of press time, it is unclear as to the total cost incurred by the Kansas City Southern Railway Company, although initial estimates place it well above $5000. The train was traveling approximately 45 MPH when the cars were disconnected, and it remains unclear what, if any, freight was damaged in the incident.
Foster is being held pending a first appearance in Little River District Court on March 7th. Foster is being charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree. Due to the total cost of the damages, the charge is a Class C Felony carrying with it a sentence of three to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.