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Old 03-16-2017, 06:11 PM
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Default ASIAN Man allegedly planted bomb at Port Authority Bus Terminal


Man allegedly planted bomb at Port Authority Bus Terminal
By Tina Moore, Rebecca Rosenberg, Daniel Prendergast and Elizabeth Rosner
March 16, 2017 | 11:03am | Updated

An “improvised explosive device” was found in an abandoned suitcase inside a busy Port Authority Bus Terminal eatery — and was later detonated by police, prosecutors said Thursday.

Police arrested Jersey City resident Arsenio Mason, 39, hours after he allegedly planted the device in the terminal Wednesday evening.

Port Authority officers first noticed the luggage around 5:15 p.m. on the first floor of the terminal’s south wing inside Deli Plus.

A PAPD K-9 unit inspected the suitcase and brought it to a police substation within the bus terminal, sources said.

When officers opened the bag, they saw what appeared to be an improvised explosive device along with a knife, bolt cutters and screwdrivers, police sources added.

The suitcase was turned over to the NYPD Bomb Squad, which took the device to Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx. Cops there detonated it by applying heat to the suitcase, prosecutors said in court Thursday.

But the NYPD disputed that there was any detonation.

“We brought it to Rodman’s Neck and they took some powder out of it,” said Sgt. Vincent Marchese, an NYPD spokesman. “They took the powder to a lab for further analysis.”

Arsenio Mason
Steven Hirsch

The NYPD said the device was a commercially available stun grenade refill cartridge.

They found parts including “a fuse assembly, a cardboard tube and black gunpowder,” Marchese said.

“We believe it was a fuse from a smoke grenade or a flash bang and there was powder similar to what you’d find in a firework,” said department spokesman Peter Donald. “The guy’s an EDP [emotionally disturbed person]. I don’t think anyone’s particularly disturbed about it.”

Mason was arrested by Port Authority cops when he returned to the terminal around 8 p.m. and said, “I’m looking for my briefcase. I left it over there,” according to a criminal complaint. Cops also recovered a meth pipe in Mason’s jacket pocket, the complaint said.

Mason was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, possession of burglary tools and criminal possession of a controlled substance, PAPD officials said.

He also appears to match the description of a man seen on surveillance planting the suitcase, police sources said.

“The defendant left a briefcase inside of a restaurant in Port Authority,” said Assistant District Attorney Thomas Rinaldi.

“The police were alerted and they found an improvised explosive device,” the ADA added.

Mason, a California native, is considered a fugitive after he violated parole in his home state before making his way east.

Judge Herb Moses set bail at $500,000 but ordered Mason to be automatically remanded on account of his fugitive status.

Mason also has a criminal record in Oregon, Alaska and Washington state, prosecutors said.

John Hernandez, 35, a manager of Deli Plus, wasn’t working when cops discovered the abandoned suitcase — but said two cops came into the store Thursday morning looking for information.

“They only said, ‘We need the number of your boss because something happened last night,’” Hernandez said.

Many people passing through the terminal Thursday afternoon were unsurprised by the news.

“What else is new?” said Marsha Bright of New Jersey, who is retired. “This is the kind of place they would set off a bomb, like Penn Station.”

“It’s Port Authority, what do you expect?” said Damon Hunter, 44.

But Carol Clark, 54, of New Jersey, was alarmed to hear that Mason had left the device inside the busy commuter hub.

“That is very dangerous,” Clark said. “People’s lives are in jeopardy. I’m happy he is in jail. They shouldn’t destroy him, but wow. People are disturbed and they need to rehabilitate him. Every day you see crazy people and he is probably mentally disturbed. I’m happy the NYPD found it. They saved lives. Good for the NYPD to find the bomb.”
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