Teen Pulls Train Emergency Brake To Retrieve Dropped iPhone

A 13-year-old traveling on a New Zealand tourist train proved that some teens will do anything to avoid parting with their precious smartphones.

The Otago Daily Times reports that Spencer Sutherland Todd, a native of Dunedin, New Zealand, dropped his iPhone as he was snapping photos out the window of the Taieri Gorge Limited train. Rather than accept his loss, however the teen pulled the emergency brake, bringing the entire train to a stop.

'It is very important to me," Todd said of his phone, per the Otago Daily Times. ''I just panicked and pulled."

Many trains, including those used in the New York City subway system, are equipped with emergency brakes, which are supposed to be pulled only in situations when a passenger is caught or in danger of being crushed to death. But that's not always the case. According to Gothamist, New York's Metro Transit Authority reports around 1,000 cases of emergency brake deployment each year during non-emergency situations.

Pulling the e-brake in the case of a non-emergency can cause injury to other passengers or transit employees and can even affect service across parts of the system, according to The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, for example, has struggled with teens pulling train emergency brakes as a prank, sometimes enduring several pranks in one day.

Todd's braking incident ended happily, however, with Taieri Gorge employees searching for and finding the missing iPhone, then returning the device while other train passengers cheered.