Times Square Evacuated After ‘Suspicious Package’ Report
| The north end of Times Square has been evacuated, from West 44th to West 47th Streets, after the police received reports of a suspicious package at Broadway and West 46th Street at about 12:45 p.m.
The package “looks like a cooler,” a police spokesman said. “We’re trying to see if it’s clear.”
It was the second suspicious-package call and at least partial evacuation in the area today.
Following in the footsteps of the Times Square hawkers who spotted the illegally parked Nissan Pathfinder, another street vendor on hyper-alert reported a suspicious package Friday morning.
The vendor, Hassane Soliman Elbaz, 30, parked his silver cupcake cart at the northwest corner of 45th Street and Eighth Avenue around 5 a.m. Several hours later, he noticed a small black duffel bag near a trash bin. He reported the bag to a mounted police officer shortly after 9 a.m.
“Sometimes right, sometimes wrong,” Mr. Elbaz said. “Everybody has to be careful.”
Within 30 minutes, police officers cleared the area and brought in a bomb squad to check the bag.
They found a gray shirt, white tube socks, a toothbrush and pens.
The police deemed the bag not suspicious and left the scene before 11 a.m.
It was at least the seventh suspicious package brought to the attention of the police since the car bomb attempt on Saturday.
Mr. Elbaz, an immigrant from Egypt who lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, said he was relieved. It was only his second day running his Little Cupcake Lover cart. He sells coffee, bagels, croissants and other pastries in the morning before the red velvet, Oreo, Nutella mint and ocean-sprinkled cupcakes arrive.
He said the owners of the Chicken Bar, a lunch operation behind where he works, had given him a difficult time so far, but joked that not even a suspicious bag could have thwarted his business.
“Anything crazy can happen in New York,” Mr. Elbaz said as he dealt with a customer.