A man who allegedly threw a suspicious package into an NYPD van and barricaded himself at Columbus Circle for hours has been charged withreckless endangerment, placing a false bomb and making a terroristic threat, police said.
The overnight incident began when Queens resident Hector Meneses, 52, allegedly threw a hoax device that flashed and made clicking noises into an NYPD van at Times Square, Pix11 reported. The van was then driven to a less densely populated area while the bomb squad investigated the device and determined it was harmless.
The package was found to be a candle, a cylinder with an electrical component and a flashing LED light wrapped in a cloth, ABC7 stated.
Police later encountered the suspect sitting in his car at Columbus Circle around 2:15 a.m., NY1 reported. He refused to exit his vehicle, initiating a standoff with police that lasted until he was taken into custody around 8 a.m. on Thursday.
When first approached by police, Meneses put on a construction helmet and industrial jacket while authorities attempted negotiations with him over the span of hours, according to Pix11. During that timeframe, streets around Columbus Circle were closed, and MTA buses and subways bypassed the area.
After he was taken into custody on Thursday morning, authorities did not state if Meneses had been armed during the standoff, Pix11 added.
Meneses was later charged with reckless endangerment, falsely reporting an incident, placing a false bomb, making a terroristic threat, criminal possession or a weapon, menacing, falsely reporting an incident (fire and emergency) and resisting arrest, police said.