Train uses emergency brakes to avoid hitting Springfield man on tracks

A Springfield man was arrested earlier this week after police alleged he was found intoxicated, and swinging on the railroad crossing signs and lying on the train tracks downtown.

Paul Francis Johnson, 34, of Springfield, was arrested on charges of interference with the operation of a train and criminal trespass on the land or premises of a railroad company, according to court records.

READ MORE: Springfield man accused of driving drunk with 2 young kids in the car

Officers were called to railroad crossing near the downtown Courtyard by Marriott on North Fountain Avenue where Johnson was found yelling and intoxicated early Sunday morning.

An employee of the railroad who was staying at the hotel allegedly saw Johnson swinging from the crossbars and other apparatus near the crossing, police said. Johnson was also accused of lying on the train tracks and blocked an oncoming train until the very last second, forcing the locomotive to use its emergency braking, according to court records.

Two hours earlier, Johnson was arrested after he police said he was begging for money and scaring customers at the Speedway gas station on South Limestone Street, according to court records.

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After his second arrest, Johnson was reportedly uncooperative, according to court records, telling officers he would kill them and fight them as soon as he was released.

Johnson pleaded not guilty to both charges in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday morning.


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