NYPD deems suspicious items in Manhattan safe, identifies ‘person of interest’

Crime News

The New York Police Department Bomb Squad has deemed suspicious packages found in Manhattan at the Fulton Street subway station and in Chelsea to be safe, and police are now seeking an individual in their investigation.

The NYPD is looking to question Larry Griffin, of West Virginia, who is a “person of interest” in the case, a police source told ABC News.

Griffin is described as being between his 20s and 30s with dark hair and a shopping cart who was seen on surveillance video placing the rice cooker on the mezzanine and then on the platform.

Police are referring to it as “reckless endangerment incidents,” according to the department’s public information office.

“Why is he placing them there and what is the purpose of that?” NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said. “Not a suspect but certainly someone we want to interview.”

“The NYPD is looking to locate and identify this individual who’s wanted for questioning in regard to the suspicious items inside the Fulton Street subway station this morning in Lower Manhattan,” NYPD Chief Terence Monahan tweeted Friday. “Contact @NYPDTips at #800577TIPS with info — alert a cop or call 911 if you see him.”

Griffin’s father hung up on ABC News when reached by phone.

Two NYPD counterterrorism officers were approached just after 7 a.m. by a subway passenger who noticed suspicious items at the Fulton Street station. The items turned out to be rice cookers, one on the mezzanine level and one on the 2/3 subway lines platform.

“UPDATE: ALL CLEAR. The suspicious packages have been fully investigated and have been deemed safe by our @NYPDCT officers,” the NYPD tweeted just before 9 a.m.

PHOTO: John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism for the NYPD, speaks to the press near the scene of a suspicious package near the Fulton Street subway station in Lower Manhattan on August 16, 2019, in New York.
PHOTO: A pressure cooker at the Fulton Street subway station in Manhattan, Aug. 16, 2019, was investigated by the bomb squad.

The MTA said to expect delays and changes to service on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J and Z lines due to the investigation. During the initial investigation, one train was evacuated at Fulton Street.

“This was a serious incident and we took it very seriously,” MTA chief Andy Byford said.

A third suspicious package, this one placed next to a trash can at 16th Street and Seventh Avenue, has also been deemed to be nothing more than a rice cooker. It “may or may not be related,” to the Fulton Street devices, NYPD Chief Ed Delatorre said.

PHOTO: One of the devices found inside Fulton Street Subway station in New York, August 16, 2019.
One of the devices found inside Fulton Street Subway station in New York, August 16, 2019.

“UPDATE: ALL CLEAR. The suspicious package at 16th St & 7th Ave in Manhattan has been fully investigated and deemed safe by our @NYPDCT officers,” the NYPD tweeted.

Detectives are looking for video of the 16th Street and Seventh Avenue location to determine whether the same person placed a cooking device near a trash can.


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