On Thursday [July 21] a man identified as Hector Meneses, who was suspected of tossing a hoax bomb through an open window of a police van in Times Square, has been taken into custody after a standoff with the New York Police Department in Columbus Circle, according to the Associated Press.
The situation began when Meneses was in a passing vehicle, while he threw an object into a police van late Wednesday, the driver of the police van sped off to a less crowded area, while he and his partner notified the bomb squad.
“These two officers are heroes of the NYPD, heroes of New York City,” Police Commissioner William Bratton tweeted.
According to reports, the driver of the police van, Sgt. Hameed Armani, made a quick decision once he saw the object thrown into their vehicle.
“I look around, saw a lot of kids, a lot of young people,” Armani said. “”We both look at each other and I go, ‘We’re going to go, but I’m not going to have anyone else go with us.'”
His partner, Officer Peter Cybulski, admitted to being “nervous” while Armani drove to a less crowded area.
The object ended up being a candle and a “harmless electrical component.”
According to reports, “Officers spotted the suspect’s SUV at around 2 a.m. Thursday at Columbus Circle and pulled it over. The suspect ‘rolls up the window, puts his hands towards the glove compartment and says that he wants to die and has a bomb strapped to his vest,’ said Bill Aubry, chief of Manhattan detectives.”
Aubry said the man continued to act erratically, so SWAT officers closed in.
The surrounding areas were closed and subway trains bypassed Columbus Circle. The standoff ended around 8 a.m. after police secured the area.