Two arrested after ignoring railroad's warning -, GA News Weather & Sports

Two arrested after ignoring railroad's warning

By Roslyn Giles  - email | bio

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Two homeless people were arrested Thursday for violating Norfolk Southern's no trespassing law.  During a team effort, officers from NS and Columbus Police Department walked the trails Monday educating violators on the law and the dangers of being near a railroad.

They also gave verbal warnings alerting those living underneath bridges they would return Thursday to enforce the laws.  William Heard was the first to get arrested.  "We left. We took all of our stuff out yesterday, we just came back to get our bag. We figured we at least had until 8:00."

Police didn't buy his story.  They hauled Heard and a woman off to jail for trespassing on railroad right of way. Police approached another man, but let him go.

"I talked to him yesterday and he had moved his stuff and came back to get his backpack. He had moved his stuff into the woods. I saw him walking up as we came up," say Tony Meldin, Columbus Police Department.

Wednesday officers handed out pamphlets along several bridges and rails educating violators that the property on either side of the rack is off limits.  The primary reason is Safety, according to Gary Hedgepath, Manager, Facility Security, Norfolk Southern. 

"A lot of people heeded the warning and left.  It's for their safety and the safety of the community as well as the safety of the railroad workers. They need to know of this inherent danger," says Hedgepath.

10 people died last year in Georgia railroad-related deaths added Hedgepath.  Norfolk is hitting the cities with the highest incidents. Columbus is in the top 6, with 2 out of 13 injuries on the rails in the peach state.

Norfolk Southern Police visit the top six cities every year. Their next stop is Birmingham, Alabama. 

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