Unruly passenger delays Amtrak train in Union Mills
Jan. 1, 2005
By Stan Maddux / Post-Tribune correspondent
UNION MILLS — An Amtrak train ground to a halt in Union Mills on Thursday night when an intoxicated passenger refused more alcoholic beverages created a scene and became hostile toward the conductor.
According to LaPorte County Police, Deputy Bruce Kluge responded to a call from Amtrak about 11:30 p.m.
Kluge was told 36-year-old Eben MacFarlane became very upset when crew members, believing that he was intoxicated, refused to serve him any more cocktails.
MacFarlane then started arguing with the conductor, who stopped the train at Hamilton and Water streets and called police.
Upon arrival, Kluge said he observed MacFarlane unconscious in one of the passenger seats. After being awakened, Kluge advised him that his behavior was not appropriate due to all of the passengers aboard the train, police said.
The conductor then informed Kluge he wanted MacFarlane off the train because of the problems he started and his condition, police said.
MacFarlane of Santa Fe, N.M., was arrested and booked into the LaPorte County Jail on Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the company’s policy requires its trained food and beverage servers to stop serving alcohol to any passenger who exhibits signs of intoxication.
“We know when to say when,’’ Magliari said.
Some passengers, though, who become extremely drunk likely brought their own alcohol on board and servers weren’t aware of their previous consumption when they began serving them drinks, Magliari said.
As a result, Amtrak stops trains occasionally to hand unruly passengers to the police if they ignore warnings to start behaving, he said.
“Unfortunately, it does happen and if someone is disruptive to the operators of the train and comfort of our passengers we will take action,’’ Magliari said.
The nine-car train carrying more than 150 passengers was heading from Chicago to New York City, with stops in between that included Hammond and Nappanee.
The delay was 14 minutes, Magliari said.
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