Alleged NYC subway saboteur melts down in court, spits on officers

The unhinged man accused of derailing a Manhattan subway train and injuring three people by hurling metal construction debris onto the tracks wigged out in court Friday, spitting on officers and blasting the proceeding as “unfair.”

Demetrius Harvard, 30, first pleaded not guilty to unlawful interference with a railroad train, reckless endangerment, criminal tampering, criminal mischief and other raps for the Sept. 20 sabotage and an unrelated case — then removed his face mask and began rambling incoherently.

“You’re going to have to put your mask on, sir,” ordered Justice Laura Ward in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Harvard didn’t comply.

The judge then told court officers to handcuff him and take him away,  prompting him to spit at them.

“No, that’s not fair!” he railed. 

Ward shot back, “When you spit in court during COVID, this is very fair.”

Harvard continued to babble incoherently, insisting, “I didn’t do anything to the train. It’s selfish!” and “It’s not fair!” as four court officers dragged him from the courtroom.

Harvard’s lawyer, Cody Warner, requested a psychiatric exam, known as a 730, after speaking with his client’s mother.

“Clearly, based on his outbursts and the statements that he made, a 730 exam is appropriate here,” the judge said, ordering Harvard held without bail pending the results.

If the suspect is found unfit to proceed in court, he will be sent to a hospital for treatment.

Prosecutors say Harvard chucked metal construction debris onto the tracks on West 14th Street and Eighth Avenue as an uptown A train pulled into the station about 8:20 a.m.

The train veered off the tracks and sideswiped at least 10 beams, ripping the metal off the side of the train and injuring three of the 135 passengers on board.

The derailment and the subsequent massive transit system delays cost the city nearly $ 1 million in damages, according to the MTA.

The indictment against Harvard combined the subway sabotage charges with an earlier Sept. 5 case in which he allegedly struck an MTA bus with a metal street barricade, shattering two windows, court records show.

The suspect had previously been freed without bail in the earlier case.

NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg wants Harvard barred from using the city’s public transit.

“The perpetrator who caused this train to derail should face the strictest possible consequences,” she said. “Additionally, we urge the court to ban him from the transit system should he be convicted.”

Harvard is due back in court Dec. 7.

Additional reporting by David Meyer

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