Two NYPD officers did the unthinkable when a man threw a white package through the passenger side window of their police van in Times Square — they drove away with the device in the vehicle in a heroic effort to move to a less crowded area.
The crudely made hoax-bomb turned out to be a red candle and white t-shirt wrapped in tinfoil with two solar garden lights, according to the New York Post.
But Officers Peter Cybulski and Sgt. Hameed Armani, who feared the worst, didn’t know that at the time.
Astonishingly, the moment the contraption was tossed inside the police van was captured on video:
“We both looked at each other and we knew exactly what the other was thinking without even having to say it,” Cybulski explained at a news conference. “[It was] a very crowded area, multiple children around, multiple families around. We’re not going to let this take out someone else with us, multiple casualties.”
Armani, who immigrated from Afghanistan, said they both started “praying.”
“I was nervous. [Cybulski] looked at me and said ‘Boss, what are we doing?,” Armani added. “I said ‘we’re driving, alright.’ Halfway through we said our prayers to each other and I was like, alright, if it happens it happens. I’m not going to stop here.”
The cops drove to a more isolated area and got out of the vehicle before the bomb squad responded to give the all-clear.
Commissioner Bill Bratton later hailed the officers as “heroes of New York City,” the Post reported.
The man suspected of throwing the hoax-bomb, identified by police as Hector Meneses, was taken into custody after a standoff with police.
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