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Man gets 5 years for brandishing knife on train

May 19, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge sentenced an Oregon man to five years in prison Thursday for brandishing a knife on an Amtrak train passing through Wisconsin.

U.S. District Judge William Conley sentenced 32-year-old Timothy Thomas of Portland on Thursday. Thomas pleaded guilty in March to intentionally interfering with a train conductor.

According to prosecutors, passengers on an Amtrak train passing through Monroe County in November 2020 complained that Thomas was threatening people and banging on seats. They also said he refused to wear his mask and was coughing on passengers. The country was in the midst of a COVID-19 surge at the time.

When the conductor confronted him he pulled out an 8-inch knife and began stabbing it toward the conductor. The engineer stopped the train., Thomas got off and tried to force his way into one of the locomotives. Police arrived and took him into custody.

“Mr. Thomas is deeply sorry, and he’s committed to becoming a vigilant steward of his mental health,” Thomas’ attorney, Peter Moyers, said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.