New York City’s Times Square is evacuated after cops find ‘suspicious package’ before giving ‘all-clear’
- Man on a bicycle allegedly hurled a cookie tin at people sitting in Times Square, sparking evacuation and large police response
- NYPD closed three blocks between 45th and 48th Streets as they inspected a suspicious item
- Police issued all-clear at 1pm after determining the item was safe
- Incident comes amid lockdown at the US Capitol in Washington DC involving a man claiming to have a bomb
- On Wednesday, shots were fired at Times Square, one of which struck TKTS booth where Thursday’s incident occurred
A portion of New York City‘s Times Square was evacuated on Thursday afternoon after police discovered a suspicious package that was allegedly thrown at people sitting on a landmark known as the ‘red steps.’
Law enforcement sources said a man riding a bicycle hurled an item that was believed to be a cookie tin toward people sitting by the iconic TKTS booth in Father Duffy Square, sending them fleeing in fear, reported NBC 4.
Police descended on the area and inspected the suspicious item with the aid of bomb-sniffing dogs.
A portion of Times Square in New York City was evacuated on Thursday afternoon after the discovery of a suspicious package
An officer carries what appears to be a cookie tin, which may have sparked the evacuation
Police cleared the area between 45th and 48th Streets along Seventh Avenue as the investigated the incident
The incident trigged a large police response. Pictured: NYPD vehicles are parked beneath Times Square’s iconic billboards on Thursday
Pedestrians look on as police search Times Square during the suspicious package incident
The incident prompted the evacuation of three blocks, from 45th to 48th Street along Seventh Avenue.
NYPD spokesperson Sgt Jessica McRorie told DailyMail.com in an email that ‘the package has been determined to be non-suspicious.’
The NYPD issued an all-clear at around 1pm and reopened Times Square to pedestrians.
Police took extra precautions amid an ongoing lockdown at the US Capitol in Washington DC involving a man who claimed to have a bomb in his pickup truck.
Bomb-sniffing dogs were deployed as part of Thursday’s investigation in Times Square
Witnesses uploaded video on the Citizen app showing police searching the square. The all-clear was given at 1pm
The evacuation took place two day after someone opened fire in Times Square, striking the rear window of the TKTS booth beneath the red steps, which sells discounted Broadway tickets.
The bullet shattered the glass in the 20-foot-long window, but no one was injured. The booth has been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported the New York Post.
Times Square, known as the Crossroads of the World, has been the site of several recent shootings.
Earlier this week, 20-year-old Elijah Quamina has been accused of firing at a man riding a dirt bike on Seventh Avenue after his friend got into an argument with the victim. No injuries were reported in connection with that shooting.
Times Square has been the site on multiple shooting incidents in recent days, weeks and months, leaving severa people injured
In late June, Samuel Poulin, a 21-year-old US Marine visiting the city from upstate New York, was struck by a ricocheting bullet.
Back in May, a four-year-old girl and two women were wounded when a suspect identified as Farrakhan Muhammad allegedly opened fire.
The shootings in Times Square have happened against a background of soaring crime throughout New York City.
According to NYPD data, felony assaults are up 5.3 percent from last year, as of August 15, with misdemeanor assaults up 2.1 percent.
Murders have also increased, from 275 reported during the same time frame in 2020 to 277 reported thus far in 2021.
There have also been 10.7 percent more shooting incidents, with 7 percent more victims.
And grand larcenies have also increased 1.6 percent, with grand larcenies from automobiles skyrocketing 20.2 percent.
Rapes have increased 8.6 percent and hate crimes have nearly doubled.