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. Spencer Storer

    Mike, you're an asshole

    April 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trudy

    He wore a fake transit vest so as to move about without interference, because he was going to do something very wrong to others, not himself. Do not be naive. What was the purpose of the water bottles? Fill in the blanks. Yeh, I feel real safe knowing that they figured this one out. We can all sleep well tonight.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    Sometimes CNN gets the story out first, sometimes it doesn't.. I'm sure that's the nature of news. You can't expect them to get everything out before everyone else.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LacrosseSon

    Poor nutjob. I hope he gets the help he needs.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. craig

    Would'nt a flashlight make more sense than flares for seeing in the dark? And I think it was definitely overkill on the amount of cyanide he was carrying. I don't think it is being paranoid to think this man was possibly up to more than offing himself.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Not a muslim

    He was not a muslim. He was just some white university student. His facebook page kind of says it all.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. anaerobic_respiration

    After wasting my time reading these comments, i have to thank all of you for giving me a laugh. 9/10 of these 'experts' on journalism, chemistry, and counter-terrorism clearly reflect the fact that they have an education that could be easily attained spending time with a few chimpanzees at a local zoo. Seriously, i amuse myself reading these absurd response more than reading the 'funnies' in the newspaper. Thank you for making my day that much better.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. FeelingSafeNtheUSA

    "The cyanide tablets, which are used to clean jewelry and were purchased from a jewelry supply store, can create toxic fumes when heated." (from the other article)

    Why is it that cyanide is still used to clean jewelry and is so readly available?
    The 'war on drugs' can get Sudafed off the shelf and yet Homeland security hasnt locked on to cyanide sales in jewlry stores?????
    Read more: 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#ixzz0mdKeuUXf

    April 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wit

    It would have been just as easy to jump in front of a train or pour the water all over himself and hug the third rail. But I guess he was pretty bent on not being found....

    Guess he should have hidden with some WMD's.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. deb b

    has anyone looked into the historical connection? april 30th is the anniversary date of hitler's suicide-by cyanide-in the bunker under berlin !1!? ? he supp was a history buff......so coincidental, so weird..

    April 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Daws

    So many fallacies so little time. 1. Muslim does not equal terrorist, even if he was one. 2. "No one goes and...." Some do, people do all kinds of weird stuff. This guy was not all together in the head. 3. Few people know exactly what cyanide does to you, in fact that you know makes me a lil wary of you lol 4. Wikipedia got a bum rap, studies showed it had about the same number of errors in it as the Encyclopedia Britanica, but wikipedia is free so...

    April 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Shannon from Utah

    It's high time CNN stop letting people post. Nothing but high school dropouts here. Seriously all people here care about is their clever digs. Ooh look at me! Don't worry about the story or anything. Guy tries to kill himself with Cyanide! Where the heck does a guy get this stuff? What's wrong with this dude? Anger and joking about a broken soul, no worry about how or why he could do this. Just people trying to be funny. No wonder we have such morons in charge. Look at the "common man" talk here.

    April 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AGuest9

    "the student, who majors in political science, was on the Dean's List in the fall of 2008."

    THAT'S what's wrong... If I were a polisci major now, I'd want to slit my wrists, or suck in sodium cyanide, too... LOOK at the shape this country is in...

    April 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sean

    There are some dumb comments here and weak reporting too!

    Why would a guy who wants to kill himself bring along water bottles?

    ...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.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
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