Subway graffiti tagger gets 750-volt electric shock before Amsterdam police turn off power

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Amsterdam subway, GVB train 39B on line 53 (Photo: Roel Hemkes/Wikimedia Commons). (Amsterdam subway, GVB train 39B on line 53 (Photo: Roel Hemkes/Wikimedia Commons))

The arrest of a gang of graffiti taggers at a subway station in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, was aired on television program De Meldkamer on Sunday night. A total of five vandals were arrested. One had to go to hospital, because he received a 750 volt electric shock while fleeing over the subway tracks before the police turned off the power, AT5 reports.

Employees of Amsterdam public transit company GVB noticed the taggers drawing graffiti on a subway train around 3:00 a.m. and called the police. When the taggers saw the police coming, they fled, running over the track. Officers in a helicopter spotted them hiding in some bushes between Radarweg and Basisweg, very near to the subway track. 

Subway tracks have three rails, instead of two like normal train tracks. The third is electrified. As the graffiti taggers were hiding so near the track, the police decided to turn off the subway track's power and halt train traffic in the area - for the safety of officers looking for the suspects, and the safety of the suspects themselves. The police carefully searched the bushes and found the five suspects' hiding spot. All five were arrested.

One of the suspects told the police that he was injured - he touched the third rail of the subway track before the police cut the power and received a 750 volt shock. He was taken to hospital, where he was admitted to intensive care, where he will be under police surveillance until he is discharged. 

It cost the GVB 40 thousand euros to remove the graffiti from the subways, according to AT5. The suspects were each fined a thousand euros and have to pay a total of 25 thousand euros in damages to the Amsterdam public transit company. 

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