Man Is Charged in Penn Station Bomb Scare

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Associated Press
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

NEW YORK, July 25 -- A man was arraigned Monday on charges stemming from a bomb scare that emptied busy Pennsylvania Station and disrupted service on Amtrak, commuter trains and city subways for about an hour.

Another bomb scare emptied several buildings in Brooklyn and shut down a subway station, and police officers halted a sightseeing bus and searched its tourist passengers.

The incidents Sunday and Monday came days after a second bombing attack on London's commuter system prompted New York police to start random inspections of subway riders' bags. Authorities in New Jersey began similar searches Monday.

Travelers seemed to take the inspections in stride.

"I think it's the way the world is today. I think it's pretty standard going forward, unfortunately," Maria Parisi of Brielle, N.J., said Monday as she waited in Newark for a train to Manhattan.

Raul Claudio, described by prosecutors as having a prior conviction for drug dealing, was arraigned Monday on charges of making terrorist threats and falsely reporting an incident for the bomb scare at Penn Station. Each count carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison. Bail was set at $15,000.

Claudio, 43, was arrested in the Manhattan station Sunday after he allegedly threw a backpack at an Amtrak agent and said it was a bomb, said Marissa Baldeo, a spokeswoman for NYC Transit.

Also Sunday, a double-decker Gray Line tourist bus was evacuated in Midtown Manhattan after a supervisor for a bus company told police that five male passengers with backpacks and "stuffed" pockets had raised her suspicions.

Police handcuffed five men and searched about 60 passengers before determining there was no threat. The five men were freed.

The jitters continued Monday as several buildings in downtown Brooklyn were emptied for about two hours after witnesses reported seeing a black canvas attache case next to a fire hydrant. Subway service was halted at one nearby station.

Police removed the attache case and said it contained personal belongings.

Between July 7, the day of the deadly bombings in London, and Monday afternoon, New York police received 1,476 reports of suspicious packages or people, compared with 804 in the same time frame last year.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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