Police have cordoned off an area at Columbus Circle as they attempt to apprehend a suspect believed to have thrown a fake bomb into an NYPD patrol car at Times Square on Wednesday night.
NYPD Assistant Commissioner for Communication & Public Information J. Peter Donald revealed on Twitter that an NYPD Emergency Service Unit has been called after a person was found at Columbus Circle with a vehicle matching the one used by a suspect to throw a fake bomb into a police car at Times Square.
The police are yet to provide further information about their investigation into the fake bomb incident and how the suspect was found. Donald cautioned the media against revealing the locations of NYPD Emergency Service teams.
According to the Daily Mail, dozens of police cars have surrounded the scene as police try to negotiate with the suspect, who is in an SUV. The NYPD said that the suspect has not been clearly linked to the fake bomb incident.
“The man is refusing to get out of the car. There are no hostages. The surrounding area has been sealed off,” the NYPD revealed.
NBC New York reported that at least one armored police car is at the scene. The suspect, who was seen moving between the passenger and driver seat of his Chrysler Apen, is reportedly wearing a helmet and a vest.
Several streets in Midtown Manhattan were put on lockdown after a fake bomb was thrown into a police car shortly before midnight on Wednesday. A bomb squad later gave the all clear signal and defused the tension over an hour later.
According to NBC New York, a suspect in a dark-colored SUV threw a “suspicious object” into a police car parked on 46th Street and Broadway at around 11:30 p.m. The object, which was believed to be a bomb, reportedly came in through the passenger window and landed on the dashboard of the vehicle.
The two policemen in the vehicle, identified as Sgt. Hameed Armani and Officer Peter Cybulski, decided to drive away to a less crowded area on 4th Street and Sixth Avenue, fearing that the mysterious object was a bomb, the NY Daily News reported.
Sixth Avenue was closed between 45th and 47th Streets, and 46th Street was closed between 5th and 7th Avenues as the police investigated whether the item was a bomb. A bomb squad was called to the scene. Many people in restaurants and other business centers in the area revealed on social media that they had been evacuated.
At about 1:10 a.m., the bomb squad announced that the suspected bomb was fake. Police revealed that the item was a red candle and a battery-operated camp light wrapped in tin foil and a white cloth.
Donald tweeted an image of the items used to make the fake bomb.
Police are still searching for the suspect who threw the fake bomb into the NYPD patrol car. While the suspect may have intended to prank the officers with the fake bomb, the incident has been taken very seriously due to the recent attacks on police officers across the country.
The police revealed that a suspect was taken into custody on 57th Street and Madison Avenue. But the suspect was later cleared of involvement in the fake bomb incident.
New York City has been experiencing a significant drop in crime levels since 2014. Last month, robbery, burglary, and auto theft were at their lowest levels since the NYPD began recording month crime levels in 1993, according to NYPD News. Despite several shooting incidents recorded around the country, the NYPD is expecting that there would be a record drop in the number of shooting incidents in the city this year.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]