'It puts all of us at risk:' NYC subway operator speaks out after emergency brakes pulled 40 times since March

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- As authorities continue to search for the person or people responsible for pulling the emergency brakes on subways during rush hour, one subway operator is speaking out.

Enrique Gonzalez says it happened to him just last week. He was at the controls of a 2 Train in Brooklyn when it came to a grinding, screeching halt.

At first he was afraid someone had fallen beneath his train. But he and his conductor found evidence of something else.

"My partner said he went toward the back of the train and saw that the cord was pulled and the safety chains were off, basically stating that someone jumped out of the train," Gonzalez said.

It was among the latest in a series of similar incidents across the New York City transit system.

Police released video earlier this week saying a suspect caught on camera may be responsible. Authorities believe he uses a special key to access the cab in the rear of the train, then pulls the emergency brake before escaping into the tunnels.

He strikes often during rush hour when the impact can be devastating. MTA officials say more than 700 trains have been delayed so far this year alone.

It also poses a danger to train crews who need to inspect the tracks.

"Of course it puts all of us at risk, whenever we have to go down there," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez often worries that someone has been struck.

"That does cross my mind, mentally preparing myself that I may have to view that," he said.

But more than anything, he says, it's infuriating and it has to stop.

"We're trying our best to try to move trains as fast as possible and get people to their destinations, so it makes me upset," Gonzalez said. "We've been talking about it and we all want the same thing, we want justice and we want him to be caught."

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