Police are looking for a person who was “observed in the area of the Fulton Street subway station with a shopping cart and a suspicious device,” after three rice cookers were mistaken for pressure cooker bombs, created panic, and snarling rush-hour traffic.
The NYPD is looking to locate and identify this individual who’s wanted for questioning in regard to the suspicious items inside the Fulton Street subway station this morning in Lower Manhattan. Contact @NYPDTips at #800577TIPS with info — alert a cop or call 911 if you see him. pic.twitter.com/OFTJgPv2sw
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) August 16, 2019
On Friday morning, police responded to calls about two “suspicious packages” at the Fulton Street station along the No. 2 and No. 3 lines and a third at the corner at 16th Street and Seventh Avenue, next to a garbage can in Chelsea.
Police scoured the station to look for more suspicious packages but didn’t find any, officials said. No injuries were reported. All three packages were deemed safe by law enforcement.
Authorities said during a press conference that there was a video of a man placing the rice cookers in the Fulton subway complex. He placed one of the items on the ground in the mezzanine area, then went downstairs and left one by the 2/3 train platform, officials said.
At this point, the person is considered a person of interest and not a suspect.
The NYPD has not conclusively linked the Fulton Street and Chelsea incidents together; a spokesperson said they are investigating that possibility.
The rice cookers this morning might recall you to the explosion that made 31 people injured in on West 23rd Street in Chelsea in the summer of 2016. Ahmad Khan Rahimi was ultimately convicted for planting the bomb here and another in New Jersey as part of a terrorist attack.