YORKTOWN — Westchester County Police have charged a pair of thrill seekers who posted online videos of themselves jumping from a 40-foot former railroad trestle into the New Croton Reservoir.
John Schoenfelder, Jr., 20, of Purdys, and Alex Puszka, 21, of Millwood, were issued appearance tickets Monday at their homes for trespassing and disorderly conduct, both violations. They are due in Yorktown town court Aug. 23.
Det. Dan Carfi identified the pair from a series of videos posted on Youtube showing individuals climbing the former Putnam Railroad trestle off Route 118 and jumping into the water below.
In one video, one appeared to be giving the other instructions as he instructed him in how to make the jump, said county police spokesman Kieran O’Leary. He said Puszka had been previously arrested on the same charges.
The trestle, which carries the North County Trailway, is a popular hangout with young people. Last summer, 20-year-old Brendan Frail of Yorktown died after he slipped and fell from an abutment on the outside of the bridge’s safety railing.
“Obviously it’s a concern to us, and in the warm weather we try to increase patrols there,” O’Leary said.
Carfi was assisted by Yorktown police and a town resident who first identified the videos.
“If anybody’s walking or bicycling on that track and you see people jumping off that trestle, call the police because it is dangerous and we would respond immediately,” O’Leary said.
The reservoir, is part of a New York City’s drinking water system. Town, county and city environmental police share jurisdiction and coordinate patrols on and around the bridge.
The videos attributed to the pair appear to have been since removed, though searching such terms as “yorktown”, “bridge” and “jump” returns similar examples.