A subway station in lower Manhattan was shut down Friday morning after a pair of rice cookers were discovered on a subway cart, according to law enforcement authorities.
The NYPD Bomb Squad determined the cookers, which were reported
by a 911 caller, were not explosives.
An hour after the cookers in the subway were discovered,
police found another cooker beside a garbage can in Chelsea. Authorities determined
the device was not explosive.
Police evacuated the Fulton Street Subway Station out of “an abundance of caution” after the first two cookers were found and instructed commuters to avoid the station.
The cookers found in the subway and near the trash can are the
same make and model, according to police.
Law enforcement officials are investigating a “person of interest” who they believed caused the bomb scare. Surveillance footage shows 26-year-old Larry Griffin II pushing a shopping cart full of rice cookers inside the Fulton Street Station.
Griffin was previously charged for attempting to seduce a juvenile male for sex through social media after sending a series of sexually explicit messages to the minor in 2017, the Daily Mail reports. One of the messages sent to the boy included a homemade video featuring a man engaging in sexual acts with an animal.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller has not deemed Griffin a suspect of a crime at this time, but said investigators are examining his motives.
“As you all know, there are people with shopping carts who pick up things on the street and put them back down on the street, and that’s kind of a fact of urban life,” Miller said. “It is possible that somebody picked up a bunch of items in the trash today, and this guy picked them up and discarded them.”
“Expect a police presence and emergency vehicles in the
area,” the NYPD tweeted amid finding the suspicious packages.
Following the investigation, New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority resumed service on Fulton Street at 10:34 am.