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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hero 'big man' passenger cheered for throwing a foul-mouthed student off the train 'should be charged with assault', say teenager's family

-'Fare dodger' Sam Main, 19, comes forward to defend himself, saying he did have the right ticket and was 'manhandled' by 'big man' Alan Pollock
-Student's family lodges a complaint with British Transport Police

By Lucy Buckland and Chris Parsons

Scroll down for the video

The big man: Alan Pollock, left, became a YouTube hero after throwing student Sam Main, right, off a train

The 'big man' who manhandled a 'fare-dodging' student off a train in a video which has become a YouTube hit could face assault charges after the teenager's parents have claimed that their son was mistreated.

Although Alan Pollock was cheered by his fellow passengers for removing the apparent troublemaker, the family of the 'victim' has demanded that Mr Pollock should 'have his day in court', and has now lodged a complaint with police.

Footage of the teenager being thrown off a train by a fed-up fellow traveller on the ScotRail service between Edinburgh and Perth has become a viral hit after being uploaded to YouTube.

It begins when a conductor is told the teenager doesn't have a ticket and tells the driver of the train to stop until the youngster gets off.

When the youth refuses a shouting match ensues until a passenger, later referred to as 'the big man' leaps to his feet and frogmarches him off the train - and keeps pushing him off when he repeatedly tries to re-board the service.

A two-and-a-half minute video clip - ‘Scotrail No Ticket’ - was posted three days ago and has already been viewed more than 775,000 times.

But the 19-year-old student, from Falkirk, has since insisted he was in the right after being tracked down at his home by a local newspaper.

He said last night: 'I had been out celebrating after an exam and I was half asleep on the train.

‘I did have a ticket but I must have handed over the wrong one to the conductor. The next thing I know this big guy is manhandling me to the door and throwing me off.

University student Sam Main, who is studying surveying, added: ‘I couldn’t believe it when the footage turned up on YouTube.'

He said he still has cuts and bruises over his cheeks (pictured above) and legs.

In the clip, the white-haired ScotRail worker tells Sam: 'I’ll sit here all night pal. I’m getting paid for this but they (the passengers) will start moaning.'

Is there a problem? After the conductor has been remonstrating with the teenager (his white beanie hat can just be seen popping over the seats), the 'big man' stands up and approaches the conductor

Time to move on son: The burly passenger looks down on the teenager and offers the conductor his assistance

Off and away: The 'big man' hoists the youth up from his seat and throws him off the train

The video continues with the student protesting his innocence and claiming that he showed the ScotRail employee his ‘f*****g ticket’ while a group of stunned young children sit close by with their furious mother.

But the conductor adds: 'No you have not. Stop swearing.'

The video goes on to show the teenager, wearing a beanie hat, produce a single ticket that allows travel in the opposite direction.

The conductor repeats his previous threat telling Sam: 'No you are off, we will sit here all night. Why should they pay and not you?'

The clip begins by showing the ticket inspector demanding the youngster leaves the train. He says he only has a single ticket to travel in the opposite direction. The youth responds by swearing back at him

It is at this point that Mr Pollock gets up, approaches the pair and asks ‘Is there a problem here?’ before declaring ‘No problem - right you, off’.

He then grabs Sam by the scruff of his neck and bundles him off the train, trying not to clatter into other passengers.

The teenager tries unsuccessfully a couple of times to barge his way back on before the train doors close.

As the large man heads back to his seat the carriage erupts into applause and one passenger is clearly heard saying 'Cheers, big man'.

While Sam himself has defended his actions on the train, the student's father has called for the man who threw him off to be charged.

The student was sitting exams today, but salesman Lenny Main, 43, from Falkirk, called for Mr Pollock to face assault charges.

He said: 'This big guy has basically thrown him head first on to the platform. Sam's landed on his face, and has a big graze.

'He's tried to get back in the carriage to get his bag. He's diabetic and all his things were in that bag - his medication, his university notes, his money, his mobile phone and his iPod.

And out you go: The passenger pushes the teenager on to the platform. Each time he tries to get back in, he pushes him back out again

'But he's been thrown off again. This man has to be charged and have his day in court. He had no right to do what he did.

'If I was him, I'd expect to be charged.' He added: 'Some of the comments about Sam online have been vile.'

Sam's uncle, who asked not to be named, claimed Sam did have a ticket, but it was the wrong one.

He said Sam went to the railway station at Polmont at 8am to buy a return ticket, but was told two singles would be cheaper as he planned to return off peak.

He said: 'He was sitting on the train when he noticed both tickets were for Polmont to Edinburgh Park, but he decided to concentrate on his exam and explain the mix-up to the inspector on the train home.

'After his exam he went out for a few drinks. He got on the train and everyone's seen the video, but he's no fare dodger, he was just sold the wrong ticket and the inspector's decided he's off at Linlithgow.

'The big guy's got no right to get involved, and Sam's face is cut up.

'The footage is all over YouTube now and people are viewing it all over the world.

'He'd had a drink and swore at the old man, but he's no ned or fare dodger. He paid for a ticket but was sold the wrong one.

'He's spoken to police, and told them they can check CCTV because he bought a ticket. But he's just trying to get on with his exams.'

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: 'We have received a complaint of assault. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and our inquiries are ongoing.'

A ScotRail spokesman said: 'While we welcome the public’s support of our zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour, our staff are trained in conflict management and we do not expect members of the public to take matters into their own hands.

'We are investigating the incident, which appears to show a person travelling without a valid ticket, refusing to pay for the journey, and swearing at a staff member in full view of customers.'



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