Train vigilante Youtube sensation is revealed
By Neil Pooran
THE ScotRail fare-dodging vigilante was today unmasked as Alan Pollock, from Stirling.
The YouTube footage of burly Alan grabbing a teenager by the scruff of the neck and dragging him off the train has now been viewed by more than 500,000 people.
Today, his stunned wife, Avril, confirmed it was her husband in the clip and said he was a very private man who does not even have a Facebook page.
Unfortunately for publicity-shy Alan, his exploits on a Friday night train from Edinburgh to Perth have made him an internet legend.
In the notorious clip, he hauls student Sam Main from his seat, drags him through the carriage and hurls him on to the platform at Linlithgow,West Lothian. He then twice tries to stop the 19-year-old getting back on.
Alan then returns to his seat to a round of applause from passengers. Main insisted today he had not tried to dodge the fair and there had been a mix-up.
Avril Pollock sounded shaken today, speaking from the couple’s detached bungalow on the banks of the River Forth in the suburb of Queenshaugh.
She said: “I had a look at the video, and my husband doesn’t want to comment.
“He’s a very private person, he doesn’t even have his own Facebook.
Asked if he was worried he might face prosecution over the incident, she said: “He just doesn’t want the attention.”
She said the pair have three young children, and her husband worked in Edinburgh and would not return home until late.
She said: “He certainly does get the train. He’s not back through until late.”
Dubbed ‘the big man’ on YouTube, Alan took decisive action on the packed 9.33pm Edinburgh to Perth service.
A Facebook group called ‘Pay yer train ticket or the big man will chuck ye aff’ has been set up in his honour.
The video has now been seen over 500,000 times around the world.
The two-and-a-half minute video has attracted responses from as far abroad asAmerica.
US video blogger ‘Pete on Blast,’ who has over 1,000 subscribers on YouTube said ‘all hell breaks loose!’
Although some posters are critical of Alan, most back his actions.
Yesterday, Alan was revealed as having a particular love of a certain kind of crisps.
Ian Hems, 27, from Perth, filmed the encounter. The IT teacher said: “The big man said said, ‘if I end up in jail because of this, you’ve got to come and bring me a bag of pickled onion Monster Munch in prison.’ That’s pretty much all he said.”
Ian said that the big man, thought to be called Alan, sat down in the alleged far-dodger’s seat and got off the train atStirling.
Ian said he was a ‘strong and silent’ type who made almost no conversation with other passengers, who were chatting about the incident, on the way home.
He reported that Alan had a quiet word with the ticket conductor.
“The conductor had a quiet word with him, but I didn’t see much of that. They asked me to stop filming,” he said.
“I think the conductor did everything right. They were arguing for about 10 minutes before I started filming.”
Sam Main, who is studying building surveying at Heriot-Watt University, says he is ‘not ashamed’ of the incident, and insists he had paid for a ticket.
Sam, who lives in Falkirk, said today: “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 the wrong one over to the conductor.”
Today said he was left with cuts on his cheek and legs after the incident, and did not want to go to police as he had exams on Thursday which he wanted to concentrate on.
A friend of Sam’s was reported as saying: Sam was given the wrong ticket and it kicked off.
“He reacted badly, but he wasn’t dodging his fare. He’s not that kind of guy.”
British Transport Police said enquiries were ongoing about the incident.
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