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One Witness Records Train Accident, Later Arrested and Memory Card Confiscated

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By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - There were many witnesses to Thursday's fatal accident when a train hit a parade float in Midland killing four people. One witness claims that he captured the very moment the train hit the flatbed carrying two dozen veterans and their spouses, only to then be arrested and have his memory card confiscated by the Midland Sheriff's Department.

"He opens the camera up, he pulls the memory chip, I was asking what am I in jail for, what am I in jail for. In the morning, they quickly came to me and they told me to get my stuff and they hurried me outside of the jail and told me, that I was basically free," Witness, Joe Cobarobio, said.

39-year-old Joe Cobarobio went to the Hunt for Heroes parade and says he was recording the entire time, including the moment when the train slammed into the flatbed, but Cobarobio says even though he was filming the fatal accident he also tried to help in any way that he could and never once interfered with officers who were on the scene.

"I did yell at some people. There was a lady that I kept telling her to stay down because she was real irate, she was looking for her husband. We did tell another person to undo her belt so she could give it to the police officer, so they could apply basically a tunicate. I wasn't like I was just standing there and filmed it," Cobarobio said. 

However, the Midland Sheriff's Office says differently, according to an affidavit, they claim that Cobarobio intentionally and knowingly, interrupted, disturbed, impeded and interfered with police duties causing him to be locked up and his memory card confiscated. Obviously, Cobarobio does not agree.

"This is not true," Cobarobio said.

Cobarobio believes that the reason his memory card was confiscated is because the video he took will uncover the truth of what may have caused the fatal train accident.

"I don't agree with the comments that NTSB said that the train had given warning way ahead of time before it slammed into the float, that's obviously not true and it shows on the video," Cobarobio said.

NewsWest 9 contacted the Midland Police Department, who told us to contact the Sheriff's Office, they told us to contact the County District Attorney, but the only one allowed to talk about the case is the District Attorney, who has not returned our call back.

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