Notoriously ardent transit obsessive Darius McCollum, who has been arrested dozens of times for stealing buses and trains while impersonating a transit worker, has been paroled.
McCollum pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing an NJ Trailways bus back in August 2010, and though he faced up to 15 years behind bars, his attorney worked out a deal with the Queens D.A.'s office, and the 49-year-old transit superfan was set free on Tuesday. McCollum, who has apparently been obsessed with trains and buses since he was permitted to drive an E train as a teenager, has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and says his transit passions stem from it.
Now, though, McCollum insists his bus-borrowing days are behind him. "I can't afford to get arrested again, I can't deal with the jail thing—it's too much, the gang mentality," he told the Associated Press yesterday. McCollum made a name for himself after claiming in an interview to have commandeered (and returned) over 150 buses over the past decade, noting he used to take joyrides, pick up passengers and even "just go and get a Big Mac." "That's why I love the city so much—so many trains, so many buses. I don't know what to do with myself," he told the Daily News in 2010.
McCollum, who told reporters he's staying with friends in Queens right now, is on parole until August 2015, and it looks like he'll have to limit his transit trips to passenger status until then.