An autistic man from Queens has reportedly been named as the thrill-seeking subway surfer who was seen riding along the rails of the IRT No. 7 line in a now-viral video.
Rego Park offender Christopher Guttilla, 24, is currently being sought for questioning by New York police for his dangerous feat, according to the New York Post, which took place early Friday afternoon and was witnessed live by several New York City travelers, before being more widely viewed via Instagram.
— NewYork (@NewYorkLoving) April 15, 2017
In the harrowing visual, a bundled-up gentleman is seen standing atop a subway car, taking in the view of the borough’s skyline through his device’s lens, as the train jerks forward, toward its next stop.
“Yo, yo, yo,” a man, purportedly Guttilla, excitedly repeats as he starts to walk opposite toward the edge of the car, while lifting the camera to his face to gloat some more.
The subway surfing video can be seen below.
The report further explains that beat cops around the city are quite familiar with Christopher and his reckless ways, as the “famed” subway surfer has shared numerous other videos of him performing the act on other subway lines. He has been picked up more than once for other MTA-related crimes, including, “riding between train cars, once for criminal trespassing on subway tracks, and for twice jumping the turnstile at other train stops,” the Post details.
“Cops also believe he’s to blame of a spate of graffiti tagging inside subway stations,” an NYPD source later added.
Speaking with the publication exclusively, 44-year-old Joseph Guttilla, Christopher’s father, relayed that his seemingly-careless child doesn’t fully understand the error of his ways because of an autism diagnosis.
“We do everything we can to try and help him,” the concerned dad remarked, later adding that Joseph’s fearful fascination with trains is directly connected to his son’s condition.
“He does crazy and shocking things,” he continued, “[like] subway surfing,” which Joseph apparently began doing at age 14.
The original poster of the subway surfing video, an Instagram user, is said to be a close friend of Christopher’s, and in the eyes of Christopher’s father, an alleged “train whisperer,” of sorts.
“Christopher is easily manipulated by someone with a fast tongue,” Mr. Guttilla stated, right before he insinuated that his subway surfing son might have been influenced by the Instagram poster to stand up on the train car to ensure that loads of eyes would find their way to — and share — the video.
“He has never committed a violent crime. He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Christopher’s dad swore.
“He just does it for his own enjoyment.”
Fun or not, Transit Chief Joseph Fox of the NYPD warned others in a tweet meant to pass along the nature of the crime, that subway surfing is both illegal and dangerous.
“Now looking for this guy,” the Twitter post, with an attached screen grab from Christopher Guttilla’s face from his video, “[who’s] wanted for criminal [trespassing] in [Queens].”
A previous arrest record for Guttilla also mentions 56 additional past bookings, mostly on drug charges beginning around 2009, with the rest being sealed by court officials for unknown reasons.
— The Informer (@The_lnformer) April 15, 2017
Likewise, a supposed video that was found by the New York Daily News that features Christopher riding on top another train in Queens, seems to imply that the still-not-captured subway surfer will go on riding and making videos until he’s caught.
“It’s an inanimate object,” he surmises, “but this inanimate object is family to me and others obsessed with trains. I have an addiction riding on top of the train, [but] whether I like it or not,” Guittila admits, “the train is all I got.”
Incidentally, that’s the same reasoning why Christopher’s dad is so worried about his son.
“He’s going to get himself killed,” Mr. Guttilla fears.
No word on if police are also seeking the original Instagram uploader of the subway surfing video, the friend who allegedly goaded Christopher Guttilla into performing the stunt.
[Featured Image by omada/iStock]