Statement by Mayor Bloomberg Regarding Times Square Car Bomb Scare

News   Statement by Mayor Bloomberg Regarding Times Square Car Bomb Scare
 
On May 2 at 2:19AM ET, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference to address the car bomb discovered in the city's Times Square the prior evening.

After introducing the officials in attendance, including New York Governor David Paterson and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg read the following statement:

"Before I begin, let me say we are very lucky, thanks to alert New Yorkers and professional police officers. We avoided what could have been a very deadly event.
 
I'm going to begin by telling you what we know and what we don't know.
 
At about 6:30 last night, an alert T-shirt vendor - who is a Vietnam veteran - noticed an unoccupied suspicious vehicle on 45th St., just off 7th Ave., a few blocks from where we are standing.  He alerted police office Wayne Rhatigan of the NYPD mounted unit, who was on his horse Migs patrolling Times Square.
 
Officer Rhatigan saw the vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, which had smoke emerging from vents near the back seat, and he also smelled gunpower. He, with the officers assigned to Operation Impact, immediately evacuated the area, and called for the fire department and more police.  Firefighers, emergency service officers, and the bomb squad responded and the bomb squad indeed confirmed that the suspicious vehicle did indeed contain an explosive device.  There were gas cans and bomb-making materials in the car.  The experts in the bomb squad are removing them as we speak.
 
Who abandoned the car, and why, are under investigation by the NYPD.  Commisioner Kelly will fill you in on the details, but I wanted to thank the professionals at the NYPD and the FBI, as well as the fire department and the Office of Emergency Management for their work tonight.  And most of all, the alert vendor and Officer Rhatigan of the mounted unit.  You know we say when a terrorist is caught, he has a map of New York City in his pocket, and that's a conversation I had earlier tonight in Washington and tonight is a further reminder of dangers that we face."
 
Following the statement, Bloomberg, turned the podium over to Police Commissioner Kelly, who briefed the press on the status of the bomb scare.  
 
Broadway theatregoers and tourists were evacuated from Times Square and some cross streets the evening of May 1 when a suspicious vehicle parked on West 45th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues produced smoke. Read Playbill.com's coverage of the bomb scare here.
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