What could have been a tragic nightmare to thousands of New Yorkers ended up in a standoff for seven hours in Columbus Circle. A suicidal man made quite a night for NYPD officers in a scare that started in Times Square.
Cabbie Hector Meneses of Queens, started his ordeal in Times Square when he threw a fake bomb into a NYPD van at around 11:30 P.M. on Wednesday night. Two officers were inside the van when they realized something was thrown into the van. To avoid a larger massacre in one of New York City’s most crowded areas, they sped off in efforts to reduce damage, unaware that the bomb was a fake. They are now being hailed as hero cops by the NYPD Commissioner and other officers and New Yorkers as well.
90 minutes after the scare, Meneses was found in his vehicle, a 2008 Chrysler Aspen SUV, and was surrounded by police. Meneses was very uncooperative, as he kept going back and forth from the passenger and driver seat, and also reached for his glove compartment. Police were suspicious that Meneses could have more explosive devices.
Before police were able to get to Meneses, he said he wanted to die, and that he had a bomb strapped to his chest. The standoff lasted eight hours until police used pepper spray to pull him out of the vehicle. Right after he was pulled out and put on a stretcher, the NYPD bomb squad and an emergency services robot inspected the vehicle in case there were any explosives or anything potentially damaging.
Witnesses say the area was cleared and no one was allowed near the circle. Several blocks were shut down in an effort to keep civilians safe and make sure no other suspicious items were nearby. The subways that lead to Columbus Circle were bypassed and anybody who tried to go up was steered away by officers.
Luckily no one was hurt in the standoff, and nothing suspicious was found. The news came out with a good outcome as no injuries were reported and two cops might have saved what was hundreds of by passers on a late night in Times Square.
Featured Image via Wikimedia