LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An armed man believed to have ties to white supremacist groups has been charged with terrorism after he stopped an Amtrak train in Nebraska.
Documents unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Lincoln show 26-year-old Taylor Wilson, of St. Charles, Missouri, is charged with terrorism attacks and other violence against railroad carriers and mass transportation systems.
Wilson was a ticketed passenger on the eastbound California Zephyr with about 175 people aboard, when the train was halted early Oct. 22 in Oxford, Nebraska, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of Omaha. The train was headed to Chicago from California.
Wilson had entered a restricted area of the train and enabled the emergency brake in an attempt to derail the train, authorities said.
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Passengers sat in darkness for more than an hour after the train suddenly stopped, according to passenger Bobbie Garris.
“We lunged forward in our seats and all the power went out, it went completely black,” Garris said. “We could smell something burning and I’m going to guess that was the brakes.”
Amtrak staff searched the train and discovered Wilson in the engineer’s seat of the follow engine, where he was behaving erratically and playing with the controls. A Furnas County deputy sent to the scene found Amtrak employees holding Wilson, court documents said. Wilson had a loaded revolver, plus more ammunition and a knife, the deputy said.
No injuries were reported.
The court documents show the FBI has evidence of Wilson’s activities with white supremacist groups, including a business card for the National Socialist Movement in Detroit, a neo-Nazi group.
FBI agents searched Wilson’s home in December and found a tactical vest, 15 firearms, ammunition and white supremacy documents and paperwork.
Wilson has been ruled competent to stand trial.
He was arrested Dec. 23 and is now in federal custody.
His attorney, Jerry Sena of Omaha, told The Associated Press on Friday that Wilson plans to plead not guilty to the federal charges.