Off the Rails
OFF THE RAILS is the true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes. As a boy, Darius found sanctuary from school bullies in the subway. Befriended by transit workers, who taught him to drive trains, Darius drove a packed train 8 stops by himself at age 15, making all the stops and announcements. Over the next three decades, Darius commandeered hundreds of trains and buses, staying en route and on schedule, without ever getting paid. Although Darius has never damaged any property or hurt anyone, he has spent 23 years in maximum security prison. Darius’ recidivism embodies the criminal justice system’s failure to channel the passions of a harmless, mentally challenged man into a productive career and purposeful life.