Skip to comments.Video shows bicyclist fleeing Times Sq.
Posted on 03/06/2008 2:15:46 PM PST by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK - A small bomb caused minor damage to a landmark military recruiting station in the heart of Times Square before dawn Thursday, and police were searching for a hooded bicyclist seen on a surveillance video pedaling away.
The video shows the bicyclist getting off a bike at 3:40 a.m. Thursday and walking toward the building. A minute or so later, the person returned to the bike and rode away. A brief flash and a cloud of white smoke follows.
A bike, believed used in the crime, was later found in the trash on West 38th Street, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
The blast left a gaping hole in the front window and shattered a glass door, twisting and blackening its metal frame. No one was hurt, but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the device, though unsophisticated, could have caused "injury and even death."
"If it is something that's directed toward American troops then it's something that's taken very seriously and is pretty unfortunate," said Army Capt. Charlie Jaquillard, who is the commander of Army recruiting in Manhattan.
Witnesses staying at a Marriott hotel four blocks away said they could feel the building shake with the blast.
"It shook the building. I thought it could have been thunder, but I looked down and there was a massive plume of smoke so I knew it was an explosion," said Terry Leighton, 48, of London, who was staying on the 21st floor of the Marriott.
David Hassan, who operates a breakfast cart across the street, said he was in the area when the explosion happened.
"I saw smoke and there was a loud boom," he said. "I was scared. I'm still shaky."
The military's 1,600 recruiting stations nationwide were alerted and advised to use extra caution, said Douglas Smith, spokesman for the Army recruiting command.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said no official higher state of alert had been issued. "We do get occasional vandals at our recruiting stations," Whitman said. "It's unfortunate but it happens from time to time."
The office recurits for the Navy, Marines, Air Force and Army. New York recruiters will temporarily work out of their Union Square, Whitman said.
Members of the police department's bomb squad and fire officials gathered outside the station in the early morning darkness, and police cars and yellow tape blocked drivers most of them behind the wheels of taxicabs from entering one of the world's busiest crossroads. Police began allowing some traffic through around the start of rush hour.
Authorities were still trying to determine exactly what kind of device was used. When investigators went through the evidence, they found a metal ammunition box that is believed to have contained the explosive. It was being sent for testing. Kelly said the box was readily available in Army-Navy surplus stores.
"Whoever the coward was that committed this disgraceful act on our city will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The recruiting station, located near the theater district on a traffic island, is surrounded by chain stores and restaurants and several TV studios, has occasionally been the site of anti-war demonstrations, ranging from silent vigils to loud rallies.
In October 2005, a group of activists who call themselves the Granny Peace Brigade rallied there against the Iraq war. Eighteen activists, most of them grandmothers with several in their 80s and 90s, were later acquitted of disorderly conduct.
The recruiting station was renovated in 1999 to better fit into the flashy ambiance of Times Square, using neon tubing to give the glass and steel office a patriotic American flag motif. For a half century, the station was the armed forces' busiest recruiting center. It has set national records for enlistment, averaging about 10,000 volunteers a year.
Police said it was too early to say if the blast may have been related to two other minor explosions in the city.
In October, two small explosive devices were tossed over a fence at the Mexican consulate, shattering three windows but causing no injuries. No threats had been made against the consulate, and no one took responsibility for the explosion, police said.
At the time, police said they were investigating whether it was connected to a similar incident at the British consulate on May 5, 2005.
In that incident, the explosions took place in the early morning hours, when Britons were going to the polls in an election that returned Prime Minister Tony Blair to power.
In both cases, the instruments were fake grenades sometimes sold as novelty items. They were packed with black powder and detonated with fuses, but incapable of causing serious harm, police said.
New York police officers with the bomb squad unit inspect the damage done by an explosive device to the military recruitment center Thursday, March 6, 2008 in New York's Times Square. New York City police say some kind of explosive device was set off near a military recruiting station in Times Square. Police also say there were no injuries in the blast early Thursday morning. The recruiting center at 43rd Street near Broadway had a large hole in the front window. (AP Photo/David Karp)
He dumped the bike at 38th. We have to find out what kind of bike and year/specs... let’s hope it’s dusted.
Nothing to see here. Just an act of “vandalism”.
A pointer on the video screen shows footage of an an unidentified individual planting an explosive device (left photo) that was set off outside the U.S. Armed Forces Career Center in New York's Times Square, March 6, 2008. The right photo shows an explosion at the Times Square military recruiting station Thursday morning. The U.S. Homeland Security Department said it was monitoring and investigating a small explosion that caused minor damage to a U.S. military recruiting center in New York's Times Square area. REUTERS/NYPD-Handout
And when they find him. I hope he doesn’t go quietly.
And his DU screenname was ?????
I listened to Richard Winters, the Lt. who commanded the real unit that was portrayed in "Band of Brothers" say that there were men in his town who comitted suicide because they were not accepted.
My own father gorged himself on banannas and milk just minutes before he went to join so he could pass the minimum weight requirement.
There once was an America.
People are no longer responsible for their actions.
Once caught, you’ll hear a sea of excuses for why it’s not his fault, why he had no control, why society made him do it..........
It was only a fantasy though. Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.
People like that need to be convicted of subversion & conspiracy to commit subversion; sedition and conspiracy to commit seditious acts, and treason during a time of war. After conviction he should be hanged.
Code Pink and International A.N.S.W.E.R should be rounded up under the RICO act since they have repeatedly encouraged such acts in public statements. Such encouragement and incitement when resulting in violence is the same as sending a monogrammed letter to the traitor(s) who acted on the incitement.
Every single one of them should have their citizenship stripped at the very least. For this, I think most of their anti-American leadership should get life in prison with no parole if not summary execution.
hmm. whose cajones are talking there?
the cameras probably followed him all the way home.
He won't. He will probably become Obama's... running mate!
There were certainly a lot of virtuous people in that age, but there were also commies and anarchists galore. A 28 year old anarchist shot McKinley earlier on, remember. And tens of thousands are volunteering today for service knowing they will go to combat zones.
Now, I am concerned about the future of the republic, but I don’t think any particular time was uniquely virtuous. Every age had its patriots and traitors.
“He won’t. He will probably become Obama’s... running mate!”
Well, his bicycle is certainly earth-friendly, even if his bomb isn’t.
“There once was an America”.
There once was an America where people couldn’t come from other countries illegally, protest in the streets demanding “rights”, put up their flag from their home country while flying ours upside down, and get away with it.
And we’re supposed to want to fight and die for this America? Well, once I took an oath too and didn’t have to. I’ll discourage my sons from joining and taking that same oath until the America we once had has returned. I don’t see that happening though.
The same stuff happens today. I graduated with 4 close friends in college that went to serve in Iraq.
One of them was waiting on his citizen papers to go in as an officer but decided to enlist before that to 'not miss the war'. He didn't eat and ran all week to lose the last few pounds to qualify. Right now he's on track to be an officer.
Another friend of mine joined the Army on his 18th birthday straight out of high school. He's a Major now and has been in Iraq since the start.
I felt like joining but didn't even come close to qualifying. I just lost almost 100 pounds and I'm thinking about joining when I get fit enough.
You're quite correct in what you say. No generation has a monopoly on vice or virtue. Lately however I see so much of this...
...too much perhaps, but they seem to be everywhere. I fear for the future of the Republic as you do, but more and more I find myself embittered that the brave and noble amoung us pay such a terrible price for the likes of this fine citizen of Berkeley, and our bicyclist in New York.
I’m grateful for your friends. May we as a nation be worthy of them.
I’m quite certain Ray Kelly is on the case. Here’s hoping that Ray Kelly is the next Secy of Homeland Security.
38th and Fifth, about a block from my Internet cafe. Of course I was home at that hour, getting woken up by fire engines as a matter of fact.
Note that they guy went east on a westbound street--he had the foresight to do that, in case a car decided to follow him.
And no one seems to have mentioned the three figures watching him, in one of the photos.
Video screen not working when I went by, but the Marines had a table outside and were busy recruiting. The big red-white-and-blue neon flags on the east and west sides of the station were working.
Our next mayor!