Man charged in connection with Manhattan rice cooker scare

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Person of interest in custody in connection to Manhattan rice cooker scare
Stacey Sager has the details.

NEW YORK -- The man charged in connection to a suspicious package scare in New York City appeared in court Sunday.

Bail was set at $200,000 for 26-year-old Larry Griffin, a homeless man from West Virginia. He was taken into custody around 1:00 a.m. Saturday in the Bronx.

Police have charged him with two counts of placing a false bomb after the discovery of two devices that looked like pressure cookers.

Griffin is due back in court Friday.

The incident disrupted the Friday morning commute and prompted a street closure before police determined the objects were rice cookers, not explosives.

Police were originally called to the scene for a possible overdose.

The two suspicious items were found inside the Fulton Street subway station in Lower Manhattan and the third found near garbage at 16th Street and 7th Avenue in Chelsea. One train was evacuated at Fulton Street, and trains were diverted from the station.

Authorities feared that the items were pressure cookers, which have been used to create explosions in previous New York City attacks. Police determined that the items were rice cookers about an hour after responding.

Surveillance video captured Griffin pushing a shopping cart outside of the Fulton Street station and placing the rice cooker on the mezzanine and then on the platform. Police said it is not clear whether he was trying to frighten people or merely throwing the objects away.

Investigators spent Saturday morning collecting evidence from the Bronx residence where that person of interest was found. They took a shopping cart, which was loaded into the crime scene van.

An investigation is ongoing.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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