25-year-old held for death-defying train stunt says he did it to win gutkha pouch bet with friend
The police have arrested a person who recently performed a death-defying stunt by allowing a train to pass over him while a friend shot a video of the act, later uploaded on the Internet. In his disclosure made to the railway police, the stuntman said the act was performed to win a bet with a close friend.
Gotcha: Clive Vincent France after his arrest. The police say they could
catch the accused with the help of a video of the act shared by MiD DAY.
The authorities were shocked to find out what was at stake: a pouch of gutkha. The arrested person was identified as 25-year-old Clive Vincent France alias Naidu, a resident of Bopodi. "This is the first time we ever tried to pull off something of this sort," France said to the police.
The January 20 MiD DAY report on the stunt
The GRP said the arrest was possible only after MiD DAY shared a video on YouTube. After the railway police received a tip-off that the stuntman would be repeating his stunt on Thursday, they laid a trap and arrested him.
Dice with death: France (circled) seen in a grab from the video clip of
France, who works as a welder, pleaded with the police to let him go and also claimed that he would not repeat the dangerous stunt in future. The police booked him under Section 309 of the IPC for attempting suicide.
"Unlike his claims, we are sure that he has not done this only once," Police Inspector Mahendra Rokade said. "If we listen to what is being said in the video, we can hear the suspect's accomplice questioning him: 'Naidu are you ready?' Then the suspect goes ahead to approach a speeding train and lies down on the tracks to let it pass over him."
Rokade said the ease with which the suspect walked towards the approaching train showed he was practised at the stunt.
"The suspect walking with ease while doing so shows no signs of fear, forcing us to suspect that he has done this kind of act several times in the past," the officer said.
France said he had performed the act after his friend challenged him to do it for a gutkha pouch. "After we downloaded the video, we combed the entire Khadaki area to look for him," Rokade said. "Informants told us about his whereabouts and said that he does these stunts for petty bets."
A team of API Mahendra Bagade, Police Head Constable Ramesh Avchare, Police Nayaks Milind Lonare and Nishikant Raut, and Constables Imtiyaz Auty and Gajanan Kengar worked day and night to arrest the stuntman along with Police Inspector Mahendra Rokade.
France's mother Rosemary, who was at the police station, said: "I don't want to talk about this entire episode. I have already gone through a lot because of him. He is my only son and which mother would not stop her kid from doing such harrowing stunts? Many times I told him not to do it, but he remained adamant."
Rokade said: "Tracing the suspect was necessary as we do not want youngsters to repeat this ever again. We feared that due to wide circulation of this video others would try to attempt this, so his arrest was necessary.
I appeal to all against doing this ever and it was sheer luck that he (France) escaped alive as there were chances of severe injuries if he would have been hit by any object, such as hose pipe, dangling from the passing train."
Rokade said the police were trying to trace France's accomplice. "We will arrest him under suitable sections," he said.
Superintendent Abdul Rehman of the Railways said: "The names of the team which traced the suspect will be recommended for a reward."
The stunt video
The video of the stunt shows a young man lying down on the tracks moments before an express train arrives. He lets the train pass over him. After the train whizzes by, the person emerges unscathed. His friend, who is shooting this whole episode, joins him and both of them jubilantly wave at the camera.
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