April 30th, 2010
02:09 PM ET

NYC police: Man with cyanide, flares arrested in subway

[Updated at 2:05 p.m.] "This was not part of a terrorist attack," said Deputy Commissioner of Police Paul Browne. "He wanted to find a place in the tunnel where no one would find a body."

Subway workers saw the man walking on the tracks between Brooklyn's Borough Hall station and the Bowling Green station in Manhattan at 5:30 a.m. ET, Cavitolo said. They called police when they realized he was not an employee.

The man was carrying flares, water bottles, and a one-quart canister that contained sodium cyanide, he said.

Investigators believe he planned to drink the cyanide to kill himself, he said.

Browne said subway passengers were never in danger.

"Sodium cyanide does not have explosive capability, but is extremely toxic, especially when mixed with water," he said.

The man had no contact with  passengers, he added.

[Posted at 12;15 p.m.] New York Police arrested a college student who they say carried cyanide and flares into a Manhattan subway Friday morning.

The 20-year-old man, who was wearing a fake transit system vest, told police he planned to kill himself, New York Police Detective Joseph Cavitolo said.

- CNN's Susan Candiotti, Hussein Saddique and Chris Kokenes contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S.
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. arthurr

    I don't get it. First, why wear a vest at all? Second, they probably caught him by 'Hey, look at that guy in fake vest!!" How else would they catch him! Not enough info here.

    April 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. American

    This is all we hear about a planned terrorist activity? Two sentences? CNN get your act together!

    April 30, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nick

    Police became suspicious when they saw the back of the vest, which read "Tranny System."

    April 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Danny

    Yeah that seems to be a pattern with CNN. They don't write anything other than the headline. This site blows. I'm no longer using CNN

    April 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matt

    @nick LOL...

    April 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CN-

    Death by cyanide is gruesome (it is actually an asphyxiation) and I don't think anyone would choose the subway system as a venue. Flares are certainly not needed. That dude was up to something and suicide wasn't it. To poison others, he would have to trick people into ingesting it or acidify it into volatile HCN, which people could breathe in. It's just not an effective choice. The guy just sounds like a dufus who watches too much crime tv. I'm a chemist who is disgusted by the errors in crime tv.

    April 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Julie

    thats true i belive what everyone of these people say.

    April 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alex Winter

    Why couldn't this loser have stayed home and killed himself? Save us a lot of grief.

    April 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    Here's the full story. Just someone trying to commit suicide. CNN is the worst – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/04/30/2010-04-30_phony_track_worker_rigs_subway_terror_scare_in_bizarre_cyanide_suicide_try.html

    April 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cathjo

    Question for "American" – why do you think this is terrorist activity? My assumption on reading this was that the kid took the flares to make people think he was a legit transit worker, and possibly so he could see in the tunnels. I assumed he was going to take the cyanide by himself in the tunnel. I don't see anything that makes me think he was going to hurt anyone else.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GHoo93

    Of course they will live out the fact that the man was a Muslim!

    April 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jason

    I can see this being either a 'suicide' or 'terrorist plot'.. If he were trying to kill other people, perhaps he wanted to burn the cyanide with the flare for toxic fumes... then again, maybe he wanted to set himself on fire with the flare after ingesting the Cyanide to make a public spectacle.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. metoo

    @CN- do you really want accurate information put out in those shows for idiots to emulate?

    April 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. thequestioner

    this is the 3rd article in the last week that had no information whatsoever. what is wrong with the editors of this organization that are allowing such shoddy work? Who am I to turn to – FoxNews? At least their article had 6 paragraphs. Shame on you, lazy CNN. I am VERY disappointed.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobotron

    Must be a teaparty, anti-goverment truther holocaust denier racist.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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