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2 held in assault on Amtrak conductor

| Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two men from out of state are facing charges in Fayette County after they allegedly assaulted an Amtrak train conductor Monday night.

When Connellsville police went to the Amtrak station about 9 p.m. Monday, conductor Thomas Williamson told them the two men were being disorderly toward other passengers.

When Williamson attempted to intervene, Chadd Marcellyss Mason, 22, of White Plains, Md., allegedly grabbed the conductor and shoved him. Williamson managed to subdue Mason and released him when he calmed down, but Mason reportedly then punched the conductor in the jaw.

The train was stopped at the Connellsville station, and Fayette County 911 was contacted.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Detective Lt. Steven Shaffer said the second man identified himself as Mason's brother, Shawn Mason, whose name wasn't found in the Department of Motor Vehicle database. The man later told police his real name is Valentino Dominique Richardson, 27, of Washington, D.C.

Shaffer said both men had glassy, bloodshot eyes and a strong smell of alcohol on their breaths. Both said they had been drinking on the train, Shaffer said.

When Shaffer allegedly found a plastic bag containing a small amount of marijuana in Richardson's jacket pocket, he reportedly said, "What• It's a little weed."

After both men were taken to the Connellsville Police Department, passengers got off the train to thank police for taking the two into custody, Shaffer said.

Amtrak told police that Mason and Richardson's actions caused the train to be delayed by 12 minutes.

While Mason was in a holding cell, police said, he became unruly and managed to maneuver his cuffed hands from his back to the front of his body. He threatened to "rape all of you" and said, "I know how to pick locks" as he tried to manipulate the cell door, according to police.

Connellsville Police were assisted by the Amtrak and CSX police and the Department of Homeland Security.

Mason was charged with simple assault, a railroad protection violation, disorderly conduct, terroristic threats, harassment and public drunkenness. Richardson was charged with false identification to law enforcement, a railroad protection violation, possession of marijuana, intent to use drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Both men are awaiting a preliminary hearing at District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr.'s office.

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