Fremantle train jumper Raoul White arrested in US for train graffiti | The West AustralianJanuary 6, 2019 11:27 am
The man filmed last year making the idiotic leap into the Swan River from the roof of a speeding train has been arrested in the US, accused of spraying graffiti across San Francisco rail cars.
Matthew Raoul White, 33, is known to law enforcement in Australia and overseas as a prolific graffiti tagger, part of the notorious Get Hectik crew who flaunt their law breaking online.
It can be revealed that White was also the fool filmed in April making the potentially deadly jump from the roof of the train crossing the Fremantle rail bridge, narrowly missing a concrete pylon and live overhead wires carrying 25,000 volts of electricity.
He was never captured for the crime, despite WA Police issuing CCTV vision to the public and appealing for information.
But on New Year’s Eve, White was arrested at San Francisco airport trying to board a flight to Sydney.
He is suspected of spray painting Bay Area Rapid Transit trains with the moniker “Bamp Floss” and “GH” — short for Get Hectik.
The tags were shown to police internationally and were confirmed to be the same as those in Australia.
The fact White allegedly had spray paint on his clothes and shoes when he was arrested was also a clue.
“He’s a prolific tagger,” BART’s deputy police chief Ed Alvarez said.
“He is well known in Australia — when he was leaving their country the contacts were made to us out here in the United States.”
The video of the Fremantle train jump stunt prompted condemnation from authorities.
Premier Mark McGowan labelled the man “a complete, utter, bloody idiot”. Police Minister Michelle Roberts said it was “extremely, extremely dangerous behaviour”.
Courts in Victoria and Queensland have previously labelled White a public nuisance — while WA has prosecuted him on a string of criminal damage and trespass charges.
Between July 2011 and January 2012, White sprayed Transperth trains in Claremont, Kingsley, Perth, West Leederville and Nowergup, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
He was ordered to pay more than $10,000 in fines and compensation.
But an application for a prohibitive behaviour order, which could have banned him from going within 100m of public transport, had to be withdrawn.
In 2016, White was arrested in New York after he and two other taggers jumped a fence to get into the Bronx train depot, before lying in wait in the bushes in a bid to vandalise a train.
The trio were reportedly on a so-called “spraycation” from Australia at the time.
He is facing two felony counts of vandalism in California.
“They found it was connected to an Australian gang that likes to go worldwide,” San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Californian authorities are investigating other graffiti incidents, with White being held in jail on $574,140 bail.
His next scheduled court date is January 14.
WA Police confirmed yesterday that the man wanted for the Fremantle train jump was aged 33, with the initials MRW.
Categorised in: Australia