NYPD ends standoff with man suspected of tossing hoax device

A man suspected of tossing a hoax bomb through the open window of a police vehicle in Times Square was taken into custody after an overnight standoff, the New York Police Department said Thursday.

The standoff ended around 8 a.m. after police sent a robot to check out the vehicle because they didn’t know what was inside it.

Chief of Department James O’Neill said a cylindrical object was tossed into the police car late Wednesday night. He said the object was thrown from another vehicle and turned out to include a candle and a harmless electrical component. A police photo showed those objects displayed beside foil and white cloth.

Officers spotted the suspect’s sport utility vehicle around 2 a.m. at Columbus Circle and pulled it over, O’Neill said. He said the driver refused to get out and donned a red plastic helmet. SWAT officers went to the scene.

Surrounding streets were closed and subway trains bypassed the area.

Two officers were in the marked vehicle when the device was tossed inside. They drove to a less-crowded area, placed the device on the sidewalk, got out and took cover. The bomb squad gave the all-clear a short time later. There are no reports of injuries.

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