BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — NYPD officers, dealing with a “heightened sense of nervousness” ahead of 9/11, rushed to a reported explosion in Brooklyn on Friday, only to find a home damaged by an apparent firecracker and more than a dozen damaged vehicles.
A man who’d had a relationship with a woman living on the block lit the firecracker and damaged 14 vehicles on Madison Street with what police said they believe was a hammer, officials said. The man has an extensive arrest history, but nothing that would have indicated he’d do something like this.
FDNY officials received a report of smoke on Madison Street around 7:45 a.m., officials said. Shortly after that, police were notified.
The scare was loud enough to trigger a full-throttled response from the NYPD, as the city was on high alert ahead of the 9/11 events.
“I just got the call that there was an explosion, so obviously I got here as soon as I could because I was concerned about what it might be,” NYPD Assistant Chief Judith Harrison said. “So obviously, with 9/11 being tomorrow there’s a heightened sense of nervousness. There’s a heightened sense of making sure everything is OK.”
The incident is not related to terrorism, Harrison said.
“But obviously this is someone that we need to get off the streets,” she said.
The man was last seen wearing a blue shirt and blue shorts and a black and green helmet, police said. He fled the scene on a green dirt bike.
Kevin, who did not provide his last name, confronted the alleged suspect.
“The glass broke, there was an explosion. All I see was smoke. Hallway was covered with smoke. I go downstairs and I see this gentleman outside, and I’m like ‘Yo, what’s going on?; and he says ‘what do you think is going on?” Kevin recalled.
No injuries were reported.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).