NYPD Arrests West Virginia Man Over Subway Bomb Scare – The Wall Street Journal

Surveillance video screen images released by the New York City Police Department on Aug. 17 show suspect Larry Griffin. Photo: NYPD/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

New York City police arrested a homeless man from West Virginia on Saturday for allegedly planting false bombs in Manhattan that caused alarm and delayed morning rush-hour commuters last week.

New York Police Department officials said Larry Griffin, 26 years old, placed two pressure cookers wired to look like bombs in the Fulton Street subway station and a third fake explosive on a busy street near Union Square on Friday morning.

The devices prompted authorities to shut down the subway station and surrounding streets while the matter was investigated, delaying the morning commute for thousands. Mr. Griffin’s motives remain unknown, NYPD officials said.

Mr. Griffin is being held in the Manhattan Detention Complex as he awaits trial on three felony charges of placing a false bomb, NYPD officials said. He faces up to seven years in prison for each charge. The Wall Street Journal couldn’t immediately determine if or how he pleaded to those charges.

A lawyer for Mr. Griffin didn’t respond to requests for comment.

NYPD officials said police arrested Mr. Griffin in the Bronx early Saturday morning after investigators were notified of his whereabouts by a member of the public. The officials said Mr. Griffin had been living on the streets of New York City for an unknown period.

Widely circulated images, caught on the subway closed-circuit system and distributed by the NYPD, show him pushing pressure cookers in the Fulton Street station using a shopping cart, NYPD officials said.

Mr. Griffin underwent a psychiatric evaluation before he was transported to Manhattan Criminal Court, NYPD officials said. Once in court, he failed to post bond of $200,000 and a judge ordered him held in jail, court records show.

Mr. Griffin formerly resided in the town of Bruno in Logan County, W.Va., and has an extensive criminal record there, officials from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Mr. Griffin was arrested by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department at least three times within the last eight years, the officials said. Charges brought against him ranged from possession of a controlled substance involving weapons to the use of obscene material to seduce a minor, according to the officials.

Write to Ben Chapman at Ben.Chapman@wsj.com

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