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Man jailed for making threats on VRE train, attacking officer

Rafael Alejandro Abreu (PHOTO: Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Rafael Alejandro Abreu, 35, was booked in Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond Tuesday after a violent incident on a Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter train, according to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were alerted to a man making threats on VRE train 312 at about 7:30 a.m.

“The incident began when the subject boarded the commuter train at the Fredericksburg Station and continued as the train traveled to Leeland Road Station. Several witnesses heard the threats,” Stafford Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Vicinanzo said. “Train conductors contacted the Sheriff’s Office while at Leeland Road Station, and the train and platform were quickly evacuated. When the suspect attempted to get off the train, he attacked a law enforcement officer. He was subsequently taken into custody.”

Deputies and K-9 bomb-detecting units searched the train and parking lot for threats.

“The train went back to a VRE maintenance and storage facility in Spotsylvania County for further inspection and VRE train 314 was able to pick up the passengers at Leeland Road Station,” Vicinanzo said.

Abreu was arrested and later interviewed by Stafford detectives and the FBI. He was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and intent to intimidate the civilian population by compelling emergency evacuation of a means of mass transportation.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.