Italy police catch man who pulled emergency brakes on 100 trains

Serial offender faces charges of interrupting a public service.

Police in Italy have caught a man accused of applying the emergency brake on almost 100 trains, seemingly for his own entertainment.

The 47-year-old, originally from Bulgaria, is now in jail in Genoa facing charges of interrupting a public service and resisting a public official.

The man had become the nightmare of commuters and railway managers in the Italian regions of Liguria, Piemonte and Lombardia.

Prosecutors accuse the man of causing multiple hours of delays during a spree involving around 100 cases in north-west Italy.

The serial offender would wait until the train had picked up speed before striking unobserved - often in tunnels - before mingling with the crowd. The last offence occurred earlier this week on a train bound for Genoa.

Thanks to surveillance cameras and the testimonies of train conductors, police were able to track down the individual whose actions, it seems, were not limited to trains.

Italian news agency ANSA reports that in the spring he managed to get a plane to turn around after it had taken off from Orio al Serio airport in Bergamo.

The man was reportedly intoxicated and began to shout when he couldn't find an emergency brake on the plane, "perhaps convinced he was on a train", ANSA reports, leading the pilot to change course and return to Bergamo.